Vehicle Overloading: What Is It and How to Avoid It

Vehicle Overloading: What Is It and How to Avoid It

[Article]: Overloading trucks can be extremely dangerous to drivers and other vehicles. This is everything you need to know about vehicle overloading and how to avoid it.

Overloading trucks is dangerous. In 2018, there were nearly 5,000 fatal crashes involving large trucks, many of which were the result of overloading.

Unsure what it means to have an 'overloaded truck'? It's a specific terminology and there is legislation from state to state that ensures these accidents can't happen.

We'll cover all this and how you can prevent overloading a truck in the article below.

What Does It Mean to Overload a Truck?

By definition, overloaded means that something has been filled beyond recommended capacity. For a truck, this doesn't necessarily mean it's overflowing with cargo.

Trucks have maximum capacities that ensure they can drive and take corners without leaning or tipping over.

Most states determine weight by the number of axles on a truck, whether it's a single, double, or tridem axle. In all states, the maximum gross weight has to be 80,000 lbs or less.

The requirements for a single axle truck are 20,000 lbs or less. Some states mandate less, others allow for slightly more.

The point is, if a truck's cargo weighs more than this, there's a serious risk of tipping. Hence why you can find weigh scales on many state highways.

Why Must Trucks Never Be Overloaded?

Well, it's illegal. And at the end of the day, the truck driver is legally responsible for their cargo and making sure it is properly secured and not overloaded.

But besides the legal implications, there's a severe risk of a truck tipping. Trucks that are overloaded often have a higher chance of tipping due to the increased weight attached to the truck.

In addition to tipping, many bridges, overpasses, and roads have weight restrictions. These restrictions are put into place to ensure that they aren't damaged or endure unnecessary stress.

While collapses or major damage is rare, the added weight increases the chances of issues.

How to Prevent Overloading Trucks

Many highways nationwide have mandatory weighing stations to ensure trucks aren't overloaded. And there can be fines if a truck is caught being overloaded.

That's why it's best to know the weight of a truck before it departs. Platform scales can help drivers ensure their trucks aren't overloaded.

What are platform scales? They're highly durable electronic scales that measure the weight of different items.

They are built to stand extreme weights in the harshest of environments, including the murk and grime of even the heaviest of trucks. Getting a platform scale is nearly essential when you're driving a truck.

After all, you don't want to be fined for an overloaded truck. Worse, you don't want to be responsible for an accident or injured yourself because you didn't weigh the truck beforehand.

Truck Safety Matters

It's important to follow the guidelines for truck driving. Overloading trucks is a great way to get into legal trouble or cause an accident that could take your or someone else's life.

Know the law for which start you'll be driving through and keep an eye out for local signs warning you about weight restrictions on their roads and bridges.

If you found this content helpful, check out our other posts. From case studies to vehicle legislation, we offer a wealth of resources.

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