The key to success for any business is to minimise operating costs whilst maximising profit margins – but at no stage should safety or integrity be compromised. That said – it is surprising how many businesses are tempted to overload their vehicles to increase the payload whilst reducing their fuel or transport costs. Some businesses even go so far as to modify their vehicles to accommodate greater payloads, such as increasing the size of the tyres and installing anti-sway kits. However, this practice is not only short-sighted but can be extremely dangerous.
Monetary savings will be minimal – and companies run the risk of incurring substantial financial penalties for transgressing the law but more importantly, their disregard for safety could also put lives at risk. Take a moment to learn about why overloaded trucks or trailers are dangerous.
When a truck is carrying more than its designated payload, its braking ability can be compromised. In other words, it may take longer for the vehicle to come to a complete stop – a situation which could have tragic consequences. A larger than normal payload may also place additional stress on the vehicle’s brakes which could lead to brake failure.
Excessive weight can also place additional strain on the vehicle’s tyres which could result in a blow-out, which in turn, could cause the driver to lose control. Bits of rubber and flying debris from the blow-out can also be dangerous and could cause an accident. An overloaded truck may also be more difficult to control and turn and unless drivers have extensive experience in handling challenging situations, there is the potential for a serious accident.
Another factor to consider is the load itself. If the load shifts or is unbalanced when the truck is moving, it can cause the vehicle to become unstable and even roll or topple over. It’s not hard to see why an overloaded truck that hasn’t been loaded properly will put the driver and other road users at even greater risk.
Overloaded vehicles also put additional strain on road surfaces and structures and this could also have serious safety consequences. For example, continuous use of a bridge or overpass by overloaded trucks could compromise the structural integrity of the support system and may even cause it to eventually collapse. Similarly, overloaded trucks can cause damage to the road surface which could compromise the safety of not only the truck driver, but also of other road users too.
Everyone – from the CEO to the transport manager to the truck driver – needs to be aware of the dangers of overloading vehicles. There are very real risks involved – and companies ought to be looking at enhancing road safety and not at cutting costs.
Vehicle weighing technology is an effective solution for ensuring that your company’s payloads are within legal and safe limits and an investment in such a system is an investment in both employee and public safety.
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