Weekend Conundrum


Below you will find a conundrum of sorts.  The story itself is hypothetical and I am looking for a rational but obviously hypothetical explanation of how the events described could have come to pass.   There may be more than one perfectly reasonable explanation but I have written the story with one of my own in mind.  The only clue I can give you is that my explanation is linked to the current Horizon scandal.

A few years ago …..

Every day in a small town in South Australia, an HGV leaves a small factory with a trailer loaded with product.  Before it leaves the factory the trailer is weighed to ensure it does not exceed the 40 tonne limit.

On one particular day a driver hooks up his lorry at the factory and proceeds to the weighbridge.  The weighbridge operator checks the weight with the driver and they agree it to be 35 tonnes.   The lorry driver continues on his journey and 500km down the road is involved in a fatal collision caused by his truck failing to stop in time and crushing a stopped car in front of it.   The police are called.  They inspect the lorry and the trailer is taken to a local weighbridge to be checked.  It is found to be 45 tonnes – 5 tonnes overweight.

The driver is adamant that the factory weighbridge gave him a weight of 35 tonnes so the next day the police transport the trailer to the original weighbridge and weigh it again.  It shows 45 tonnes.   The driver then points out to the police the sealed doors on the trailer.   He asks them to check the CCTV images of his lorry being weighed.   The CCTV reveals nothing out of the ordinary and the weighbridge operator confirms this.

In court the driver was found guilty.  It was assumed that somehow he placed an additional 10 tonnes of product in the trailer – perhaps from another factory that was on the way – and resealed the trailer in some way to prevent detection.  It was the only reasonable explanation.  The weighbridge scales at the factory had been tested and calibrated by the police and found to be in order.

Three years later, an identical situation arose.  A trailer leaving the factory had been weighed at 35 tonnes and when stopped by the police at a checkpoint was found to be 45 tonnes.

The police then realised what had happened three years earlier.

What unlikely event(s) occurred that caused the difference in weights measured to happen?

As a secondary question, was the first driver still culpable or was he exonerated from his original conviction?

Please post your answers here – I think they will really help us get to the bottom of the Horizon issue in more ways than I can reveal just now.

I’ll post my solution later in the week and explain the relevance.

Cheers, Tim

PS one additional clue – both events happened in Summer





4 thoughts on “Weekend Conundrum

  1. I thought possible overheating or intermitent fault or does the factory and operator of the weighbridge get paid on how much weight is shipped out. Was the error created away from the factory by a third party. It looks like something for Johnathen Creek.


  2. A did he have a print out of the original weight?
    Was the weigh bridge calibrated first thing if not that could cause the error but then all subsequent vehicles would be out for that day.


  3. Secondary question if a solution was found that caused the two miss weights then the first driver should be cleared of the conviction.


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