Mass Distribution Sheets

Mass Distribution Sheets for Type Approval in Ireland

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TruckScience’s Axle Weight Calculator program produces Mass Distribution Sheets, which are a legal requirement for Whole Vehicle Type Approval of heavy goods vehicles in Ireland.

Mass distribution amongst axles

Mass distribution amongst axles

Type Approval

European Communities Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) consists of a series of tests carried out on a prototype vehicle and on the production process used to manufacture the vehicle. If the vehicle and production process pass these stringent safety and environmental tests, then the vehicle receives EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval.  Since 29th October 2014, completed vehicles of category N2 and N3 require type approval for the finished vehicle in order to be registered.

National Type Approval

Ireland has introduced National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) and Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) schemes, for the approval of vehicles or trailers manufactured in small volumes, and intended only for the Irish market, for manufacturers who may find ECWVTA prohibitively expensive.

Approved Vehicle Body Builders

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (or NSAI) will only accept application for the type approval of completed HGVs from Approved Vehicle Body Builders, that is those on their AVBB Scheme. At time of writing, there are 43 Approved Vehicle Body Builders on the NSAI’s Register.  Many of these are using TruckScience’s Axle Weight Calculator to help them to comply with Type Approval requirements, including Thomas McClean of Thomas McClean & Son Ltd.  and Michael McElchar of Lifford Coachworks Ltd.

Requirements of the AVBB Scheme

Minimum requirements for the Quality System the Body Builder must have in place include a Vehicle Approval File procedure.  An approval file will be required for each approval granted.  For NSSTA approval, this file must contain Mass distribution sheet(s).

NSAI Type Approval - Mass Distribution Sheets

Vehicle Approval File must include Mass Distribution Sheets

Records of Mass Distribution must be kept for 10 years

In the case of NSSTA and IVA type approval, records of Mass distribution sheet(s) must be kept, and these must be retained for a minimum period of 10 years.

Type Approval Records must contain Mass Distribution Sheet

Records of Mass Distribution must be kept for 10 years

Distribution of mass in running order

Mass in running order is defined as the mass of the vehicle, with its fuel tank(s) filled to at least 90% of its or their capacity, including the mass of the driver (75kg), oil and other liquids, fitted with the standard equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and, when they are fitted.  Body builders must be able to demonstrate the distribution of mass in running order amongst the vehicle axles.

Distribution of mass in running order amongst the vehicle axles

Body builders must be able to demonstrate the distribution of mass in running order amongst the vehicle axles

Axle Spacing and Distribution of Mass amongst the axles

As a consequence of National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA), Body Builders shall issue a Certificate of Conformity (COC) for each vehicle in the type approved. Without the COC, the completed vehicle will not be registered. The Certificate of Conformity (COC) for the completed vehicle must include Main dimensions, including Wheelbase and Axle Spacing, as well as Mass in running order, including Distribution of mass amongst the axles. Information pertaining to the Main Dimensions and Mass In Running Order is found on the Axle Weight Calculator report.

axle mass distribution

Axle spacing and Distribution of mass amongst the axles

Recording Masses and Dimensions

One of the Technical Requirements for the design of a body is a record of the Masses and Dimensions.  The report that is exported from Axle Weight Calculator is used to identify these vehicle masses and dimensions.

Type Approval Masses and Dimensions

Use the Axle Weight Calculator’s exported reports to record Masses and Dimensions.

 Capturing Vehicle Dimensions

Body builder quality systems and control plans shall capture at least the following dimensional information for the Overall Completed Vehicle – Length, Width, Height, Axle Track for each Axle, Wheelbase, Front Overhang and Rear Overhang.  All of these dimensions are found on the Axle Weight Calculator report.

Type Approval COC Dimensions

Overall Completed Vehicle Dimensions

Calculating Maximum Payload

The Base vehicle manufacturer plate contains information about the maximum permitted laden mass of the vehicle, the combination and the road mass for each axle.  These masses are used by the Axle Weight Calculator to calculate optimal or maximum payload achievable by the design.  The design can be tweaked to achieve higher payload and still comply with these axle weight limits, as well as legislative limits for the axles and the overall vehicle or combination.

Base Vehicle Maximum permitted laden mass

Base Vehicle Manufacturer Plate will contain information about maximum permitted laden mass

Axle Weight Calculator

Axle Weight Calculator is an online software program which calculates mass in running order, as well as maximum payload, diminishing load, turning circle, etc., and validates all of this for compliance with legislation. In addition to this, it is used by body builders to generate high-level designs for sharing with the NSAI, draftsmen and others.

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