Hugging the road: load cells in road vehicles

Published On: April 19 2023

Load cells are involved in almost every stage in a motor vehicle’s lifespan, from road and safety testing through daily use on the road, to its final demise and recycling.

Checking the load on tyres

All road vehicles ultimately depend on their tyres to perform to their best. After all, you can have the best tuned engine in the finest hand-crafted chassis, but a flat tyre will stop you in your tracks.

At the recent Tire Technology Expo in Hannover Germany, manufacturers Kistler exhibited its all-new RoaDyn Racing wheel force transducer. The assembly simply attaches to a wheel and measures the forces and movement to help automotive manufacturers and racing teams alike accurately measure the load on each tyre and therefore estimate the wear in use.

As an article in Tire Technology International explains:

“The data provided by the RoaDyn Racing WFT can help tire manufacturers and race teams improve their understanding of tire behavior, enabling the refinement of tools such as tire models to enhance tire performance on the circuit … Its modular design is based on proven, temperature-compensated strain gauge load cells for precise measuring results, combined with battery power and integrated data storage.”


Fuelling the green revolution

According to the government website:

“All new cars and vans must be fully zero emission at the tailpipe by 2035.”

Taking their place alongside all-electric battery vehicles will be hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen-powered HGVs and buses.

The greenest way to produce hydrogen is to use electrolyzers, which separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water using electricity. An electrolyzer consists of “Multiple anode and cathode plates with a membrane between each, and with long tie-rod assemblies holding them in place.”

Load cells play an important in monitoring these stacks.

“By using load cells to monitor the electrolyzer assemblies, manufacturers can track wear and tear of machines, make sure they are precisely calibrated to carry out their functions, and even help them optimize performance. The load cells send signals via wired or, increasingly, wireless connections to the laptops of production personnel.”

The data gathered from continual use of load cells to monitor stacks can also signal the need for maintenance as required rather than through a set schedule. This reduces the stack downtime and the number of staff required to maintain the stacks..


All vehicles great and small

Here are some of our previous blogs on load cells and vehicles with four or more tyres!

Wind tunnels and tyres: load cells in automotive testing

Costing a cool $124million, the world’s most advanced wind tunnel tests cars for both aerodynamics and aeroacoustics using load cells.

Baby, you can weigh my car: load cells in the driving seat

Where might you find load cells in today’s high tech cars and trucks? Pretty much where they have always been – to measure, monitor and weigh.

Beam me up Scotty: load cells in space

Load cells and the Mars rover Curiosity.

Freight and weight: load cells keeping truckloads legal and safe

And a special blog choice for all of you who live in Bristol, recently named the top worst location for potholes in the UK with 78.5 per cent of its roads damaged.

Load cells help prevent potholes


Tired of inaccurate monitoring or measurements??

Shift up a gear with our range of UK designed and manufactured load cells. Contact us to discuss your requirements – we’re always happy to talk all things load cells.