TruckScience & Load Xpert comparedTruckScience & Load Xpert compared https://truckscience.com/wp-content/uploads/TruckScience-and-LoadXpert-2-1024x372.jpg 1024 372 TruckScience TruckScience https://truckscience.com/wp-content/uploads/TruckScience-and-LoadXpert-2-1024x372.jpg
We’re often asked how our Axle Weight Calculator compares to Load Xpert. TruckScience’s Axle Weight Calculator and Load Xpert’s Axle Load Calculation programs are both used to calculate axle loads, maximum payload and U.S. bridge formula. While there are a lot of similarities between the programs, here we address some of the differences, as we understand them.
Features of Load Xpert and TruckScience
In addition to axle weight distribution and U.S. Bridge Formula calculations, TruckScience calculates the turning circle or turning radius of a truck. The turning circle denotes the smallest circular turn that the vehicle is capable of making. This calculated circle is compared to the largest turning circle allowable by your jurisdiction’s legislation.
The following are the axle layouts which are supported by both programs:
- 2-axle / 4×2 / 4×4
- 3-axle / six-wheeler / 6×2 / 6×4 / 6×6
- 4-axle / eight-wheeler / 8×4 tandem or twin steer
- 4-axle / eight-wheeler with triple bogie / 8×4 single steer
Load Xpert additionally supports the following axle layouts, which are currently catered for in TruckScience by adding standard vehicles, but will in future be catered for by the lift axle feature.
- 4-axle: 1 + 1xLift + 2
- 5-axle: 1 + 2xLift + 2
- 5-axle: 1 + 1xPusherLift + 2 + 1xTagLift
Lift axles are non-powered axles, and are installed ahead of or behind the driving axles on a straight truck or tractor, or a trailer’s tandem. If a lift axle is ahead of the driven axle, it’s called a pusher. If it’s behind, it’s a tag. Both TruckScience and LoadXpert support adding axles to a truck.
The Deloading Curve or Diminishing load curve demonstrates how the weight distribution over the axles changes as a load is offloaded from the rear of the truck or trailer. In some cases, a truck that started its journey in a legal state becomes overloaded on the front axle if part of the load is offloaded from the rear of the truck. TruckScience includes this feature. As far as we know, Load Xpert does not.
Center of Gravity Calculations in Load Xpert
Both programs calculate front to back center of gravity (CG-X) of the completed vehicle. In addition, Load Xpert calculates vertical (CG-Y) and lateral (CG-Z) center of gravity (CG). Due to the requirement to specify the combined vertical CG of added components on the IVD (Incomplete Vehicle Document), TruckScience plans to add combined Vertical Center of Gravity calculations in May 2016.
CAD Drawings in Load Xpert
TruckScience calculations can be shared as TruckScience (.tsc) files or exported to PDF for sharing with non-users of the program. Existing CAD drawings can be imported into Load Xpert using LX-CAD, Load Xpert’s drawing package. At present, TruckScience does not support DXF import or export, but this feature is also on our Product Roadmap for future release.
Legislation Compliance Checks
TruckScience compares the current calculation to relevant legislative limits which are pre-set in the program. The legislative checks that are carried out are concerned with areas including weight distribution, overhangs, corner distance, turning circle and bridge formula. This is in addition to the checks against manufacturer ratings which are carried out by Load Xpert.
Saving of Bodies & Accessories
TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator currently supports saving of vehicles, with or without body and accessories, and these saved calculations can be shared among users. LoadXpert allows the user to save vehicles, bodies and accessories separately, so that bodies and accessories can be reused across various vehicles.
Level of Detail
A great number of optional dimensions can be defined in TruckScience, when it comes to – among others – cab dimensions, width dimensions (Overall, Cab, Rear, Track and Chassis), turning radius, steering angle, etc. Of course, many of these dimensions are used by TruckScience in calculating the turning circle of the completed vehicle.
TruckScience currently imposes a limit of 10 accessories, whereas Load Xpert allows unlimited accessories to be added. Load Xpert provides a detailed Accessory List, which is available as a printed report. In order to see this detail in TruckScience, a user currently needs to be logged in to the program. Addition of a detailed list of accessories is in the TruckScience Product Roadmap, but a release date has not been finalised at this stage. The TruckScience limit of 10 accessories is also an arbitrary one, and we are open to removing this limit in response to feedback from our users. Please let us know (by leaving a comment) if you would like to add more than 10!
Standard Vehicles, Bodies and Accessories
In addition to the template vehicles available in both TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator and LoadXpert Axle Load Calculation, TruckScience includes a database of standard vehicles & equipment – bodies and accessories – and adds additional vehicle, trailer, body and equipment data on request. When launching a calculation, the user can filter vehicles by template (for example, 6×4 straight truck) or make and model (for example, International WorkStar) and can add recognized brands of, for example, fridges and tailgate loaders from the market.
LoadXpert provides template bodies for Chassis, Flatbed, Closed van, Reefer, Dump and Tanker. In addition to these, TruckScience provides template bodies for Livestock, Garbage Truck (Compactor), Curtainside, Dropside, Recovery Vehicle and Timber trucks.
Long Combination Vehicles
TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator supports configurations with up to 2 trailers, of any of the following type – Drawbar, Jeep (‘Interlink’ and ‘Semi’) and Pup. Trailers are available in Load Xpert as an optional module and the following units are supported – Jeeps, Reverse Jeeps, Spreader Bridges, Bridge Dollies and Pusher Trucks. We will publish another post in future to compare the functionality of the 2 programs vis a vis support of Long Combination Vehicles.
Load Xpert currently provides its Axle Load Calculation program as a desktop application. TruckScience migrated its desktop application to an online Axle Weight Calculator in 2012, and is planning an even more significant migration to the HTML5 platform in 2016. This latest HTML5 version of TruckScience will of course run online, and will be compatible with many more devices, including the iPad and Android devices, as well as with Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers.
There are glossaries of truck terminology all over the internet and it seems that every market has its own unique set of terminology. TruckScience is highly configurable and we are able to define names of trucks, trailers, axle ratings, etc. on a per-market basis. We welcome feedback on terminology, so please get in touch if there are any labels in the program which you do not understand or if you have a term you would prefer we use for your market.
Click and Drag
Load Xpert includes ‘Click & Drag’ functionality for moving items on the drawing, e.g. the fifth wheel or an accessory. The position of such items is changed in TruckScience by editing text fields.
Highlighting of current context
When the cursor is placed in an editable field in Load Xpert (for example, WB or wheelbase), the corresponding dimensions is highlighted in color on the drawing of the vehicle. TruckScience does not provide this particular visual aid to editing fields, though our users often comment on the usability of the interface.
Multiple point loads
TruckScience shows load items in its Top View drawings. Load Xpert additionally includes load items in its Side View drawings and furthermore, color-blocks them on the drawing.
LoadXpert also allows the user to add unlimited compartments for tank vehicles. This can be achieved using the Multiple Point load feature in TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator, but it may not be as intuitive to the first-time user.
Color coding of compliance checks
TruckScience uses an intuitive color-coding system when comparing axle loads to manufacturer ratings and legislative limits. Axle loads which are above the allowed weights are highlighted in red to aid recognition.
Optimal payload Display
With each change to the configuration in TruckScience, the maximum or optimal payload is highlighted in blue text on the drawing, and thus is available without having to navigate to an alternative view.
TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator is offered on a subscription basis. The annual subscription cost is currently €432. At the time of writing, this is approximately equivalent to $471USD or $635CAD. The TruckScience subscription includes telephonic and email support, as well as new and improved features and technological advances as they become available in the software. Load Xpert is purchased upfront, with an annual service contract fee after the first year. The figures in the following tables are based on exchange rates (EUR-USD and EUR-CAD) as at 29th February 2016 and aim to compare cost of using the various packages over a period of 5 years.
Have we missed anything?
This comparison has been put together following examination of information freely available on the Load Xpert website, and not through experience of using the program. If there are any inaccuracies in this article, we would be grateful to receive your feedback in the Comments section below, and will immediately rectify same. As with most things, there is no perfect solution, but a best solution for you. We provide this guide with the best intentions, in order to inform your decision when choosing an axle load calculator. Please post a comment or get in touch if you have anything further to add to this discussion, for the benefit of anyone who may be evaluating TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator and Load Xpert for use in their organisation.
Try TruckScience for yourself
If you’d like to use TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator, please sign up for a trial on the right of this page and we will send you login details. Alternatively, email us or call +353 98 39130 to request a callback.
Tell us what you want to see
Development of the TruckScience Axle Weight Calculator is ongoing, and we are constantly improving the program in respond to user feedback. Please use the Comments section below to tell us what you want to see added to the program next.