Weighbridge Operator

Every person who carries out weighing on a public weighbridge for which a charge is made must hold a certificate from a Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures to show that he/she is sufficiently knowledgeable to carry out that weighing.


SRS Wales logoDepartment:

Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU


Application Process

Applicants for a certificate will be tested verbally and practically by an Inspector and will be required to show that they can:

  • operate the weighbridge satisfactorily
  • complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation satisfactorily
  • understand basic terms associated with the operation of a weighbridge
  • understand their duties as a weighbridge operator
  • understand potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator
  • understand how the accuracy of the weighbridge may be affected
  • perform simple arithmetic (use of a calculator is permitted)


Before applying for a test, please ensure that you have received sufficient training in the operation of the equipment.


It is the policy of this authority to limit the scope of any certificate to the weighbridge the operator will be expected to use, should the weighbridge be replaced or changed a new certificate will be required.


Tacit Consent

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact us.


The target time period is 28 calendar days. 


This may be extended if the test has not been carried out and/or passed.


Background and Eligibility Criteria

Operators of public weighing equipment have responsibilities to ensure that they can perform their duties competently and honestly.


Before an operator makes a weighbridge available for public use, for which a charge is made, the operator of must have a certificate which is issued by the Trading Standards Service following satisfactory completion of a proficiency test. To obtain the certificate, the operator needs to be familiar with legislation relating to weighbridge equipment and its operation, particularly Section 18 - 20 of Weights and Measures Act 1985.


The following are some examples of the knowledge required:

Operate the specific weighbridge satisfactorily, including operation of any attached PC based equipment and ticket printers and perform basic arithmetic


Understand their duties as a weighbridge operator, e.g. ensuring the vehicle is fully on the weighbridge plate and no persons including the driver or any passengers are in the vehicle or on the plate


How at all times to keep the weighbridge ‘balanced’, i.e. showing a zero reading, when empty and the methods by which zero is maintained. ‘Balance’ can be affected by dirt and weather conditions. An incorrect ‘balance’ will give incorrect weighings. Attendants should be aware of common faults which may cause inaccurate weighings.


Complete any weighbridge tickets and associated documentation satisfactorily. This is to include the date and time of weighing, the registration number of the vehicle and particulars of the load.

If an error is made when making out a weigh ticket no alterations should be made - the ticket must be cancelled and a new one issued.


Understand potential frauds which may unknowingly be assisted by a weighbridge operator



Weights and Measures Act 1985

Sec 18 Operators of public weighing equipment must hold a certificate of competence from a Chief Trading Standards Officer


Sec 19 (i) must carry out a weighing on demand unless they have reasonable cause not to do so.
(ii) must carry out the weighing fairly
(iii) must give to the person requiring the weighing a written statement of the weight found
(iv) must make a record detailing: time, date, particulars to identify the vehicle, identify the load on the vehicle

(v) must not make a false record or give a false statement
(vi) must not commit any fraud
(vii) persons bringing an item to be weighed must, if requested, give his name and address to the operator
(viii) records of weighings must be retained for two years
(ix) record must not be destroyed or defaced within two years


Weighing Equipment (EEC Automatic Weighing Machines) Regulations 1988

Reg. 4(7): No person may carry out a 'double weighing' for trade purposes



There are currently no fees associated with this application process.


Supplementary Information

  • Self-Assessment

    If you are unable to answer the following questions we would recommend you seek further advice and discuss the matter with your supervisor.

     - Can you confidently operate the weighing equipment?

     - Where are the 'copy ticket' or records retained?

     - Can you refuse to undertake a public weighing? If YES, when?

     - What details must be shown in the 'records'?

     - Would you weigh a 'horse'?

     - How long should records be retained?

     - What do you understand by the terms  Balance Net weight Double weighing?

     - What will happen to 'balance' when it rains?

     - What will you do if passengers refuse to get out of a vehicle?

     - If you cannot see the load, what will you do?

     - The vehicle is too long to fit onto your weighbridge plate. What will you do?

     - Why should you never leave blanks on a weighbridge ticket?

     - Why should 'people' bringing articles for weighing try to mislead you.


    In preparing for your test please expect additional questions to those detailed above as these are for your benefit to judge your readiness.

  •  Records

    The Weighbridge Operator must ensure that a record of each weighing is made. These records must be kept for at least 2 years. If the duplicate of the weighbridge ticket is the only record of the weighing, it must also state:

     - The time of weighing

     - The registration number of the vehicle (if applicable)

     - The weight found

     - The date

     - The nature of the load


    If a Weighbridge Operator suspects any irregularities in a request for, or the use of, public weighbridge weighings, their local Trading Standards office should be informed.

  • Good Weighing Practice

    Regular checks should be made to ensure that there is clearance between the plate and its surrounding frame. If the weighing machine operates using a lever bottom work the plate should swing freely endways.       


    Regular checks should be made to ensure that the weighbridge is properly balanced when unloaded and the indicator shows zero.The Weighbridge Operator must know how to balance the weighing machine.

    The balance of a weighbridge will be affected by the accumulation of dirt etc. on or around the plate. This should be regularly cleaned to avoid any excessive build-up.


    Beneath the plate, levers or load cells may be affected by the build-up of dirt (sand) and should be cleared as necessary. If your weighbridge is prone to such contamination a regular maintenance programme should be implemented.


    In a pit mounted weighbridge, balance and accuracy may be affected by a high water level in the pit which 'floats' the levers or the bottomwork. In such circumstances pumping facilities should be available and the Weighbridge Operator will be expected to know how to use it.

    The most common cause of 'balance' error is due to rain on the plate. During periods of rain balance should be checked and adjusted more frequently and again as the plate dries.

  • Weighing Procedures

    It is advisable to weigh all vehicles without passengers or driver. If this is not possible or if the personnel refuse to leave the vehicle a note should be made to this effect with details of the number of persons on the vehicle. This note should be made on the ticket and on any other record.


    This information is required because certain persons may wish to increase the GROSS weight of the load by addition of passengers and if and when the tare weight is taken without passengers the weight of the load appears heavier.


    Weighbridge Operators should take special care whilst passengers are on or in the vicinity of the plate.


    Where practical the Weighbridge Operator should check the load for himself and if this is not possible the ticket should indicate the load as stated by the driver.


    Weighbridge Operators should be aware that persons bringing loads to be weighed may conceal heavy items amongst the stated load. This heavy article can then be discarded and the goods delivered to a purchaser.

    e.g. Concrete blocks with scrap metal. The load is identified as scrap metal and following weighing the concrete is discarded and the scrap metal sold at the higher weight. Therefore the weighbridge ticket would be properly completed as 'scrap metal/concrete'.


    The Operator should always check any vehicle registration number for himself rather than rely on the driver.


    The Weighbridge Operator should have a clear view of the plate and ensure the vehicle being weighed is positioned on the plate. Weighbridge Operators should be aware that persons requiring a weighing may deliberately leave a wheel over the edge of the plate to reduce the weight shown. This is either done to reduce the tare weight (and therefore increase the apparent weight of the load or to appear below the permitted legal weights for overloading purpose.


    It is illegal to undertake a double weighing where that weighing will be used for a trade transaction. e.g. a load of hay for sale elsewhere.


    Drivers sometimes require a weighing to ensure they are not overloaded on individual axles

    It is permissible to undertake weighings of individual axles but the ticket and records should clearly indicate what type of weighing was carried out and which axles were weighed etc.

    The ticket should be endorsed - "Weights found are not for trade purpose".

  • Weighbridge Ticket

    A Weighbridge Operator must give a statement in writing of the weight found to the person demanding the weighing or to his agent (this may be an arrangement made formally or informally but the statement should always go with the vehicle).


    They must enter the weight found in the GROSS or TARE box on the weighbridge ticket as appropriate

    If the ticket is to be issued then the weighbridge operator must enter NOT WEIGHED or draw lines through the spaces provided for other entries. Operators MUST NOT enter in the tare box a weight STATED BY THE DRIVER,as only weights determined by the weighbridge operator should be inserted.


    If the driver intends to return after loading for a second weighing of the same vehicle to be recorded on the same ticket, the ticket should be retained until the second weighing is complete. A Weighbridge Operator should never give out a ticket that has any blank spaces. They must complete the other particulars required on the ticket


    NOTE: Often when using an electronic headwork with ticket printer the information is fully or partly transferred onto the ticket. However, if this fails full records must still be kept and any calculations worked out accurately.


  • Road Traffic Act (Vehicle Overloading)
    Whilst not strictly a matter for a certificated Weighbridge Operator this Authority would expect an operator to have a basic knowledge of vehicle weights.


    If, having weighed a vehicle, a Weighbridge Operator suspects the weights to be in excess of that permitted for the vehicle on the highway they should draw the driver's attention to the weight record. Further, the ticket should be marked 'vehicle possibly overloaded'.


    A Weighbridge Operator does not have authority to

    • withhold the weighbridge ticket
    • prevent the vehicle leaving.




Offences and Penalties

Any public weighbridge attendant who commits any of the following will be guilty of an offence:

  • Without reasonable cause fails to carry out a weighing on request
  • Carries out a weighing unfairly
  • Fails provide a written record of the weight recorded
  • Fails to make an accurate record of the weighing, including the time and date of it and, when weighing a vehicle, such particulars of the vehicle and any load on it as will identify that vehicle and that load
  • Provides a false statement of any weight found or makes a false record of any weighing
  • Commits any fraud in connection with any weighing or purported weighing


The maximum penalty for fraud in connection with a public weighing is a fine of £5,000 or six months imprisonment, or both. The maximum penalty for recording a false weight is a fine of £5,000.


Complaint and Other Redress


Failed Application Redress: Contact the Local Authority in the first instance.


Licence Holder Redress: Contact the Local Authority in the first instance.


Consumer Complaint: View our consumer complaints procedure.


Regulations and Guidance




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