Overloading is a chronic problem within the trucking industry. When this happens, the owner operator or commercial truck driver endangers himself and the public safety. It makes the rig more difficult to drive and increases the risk of accidents, fines, and lawsuits.
How Overloading and Improper Loading Affects Your Rig
- Increases your rig’s braking distance – More weight means it takes longer to stop your rig. This reduces your ability to respond to sudden traffic changes and emergencies. Misjudging stopping distances is common among owner operator and commercial truck drivers with overloaded rigs. The brakes are also more prone to overheating on down hills.
- Increases your rig maintenance costs – The added load also causes added stress to your rig which equates to more frequent and expensive maintenance and repairs. This problem becomes worse when the truck is improperly loaded.
- Increases the rig’s tire wear and strain – Overloaded tires overheat and are at increased risk of blowouts. They wear more quickly which adds to maintenance expenses.
- Improperly loaded rigs endanger the driver and the public – Poorly balanced loads make the rig unstable and change its behavior. A load that shifts may cause the owner operator or commercial truck driver to lose control. Items may also fall on to the road and cause accidents to vehicles following the rig.
How to Avoid Overloading Your Rig
- Don’t use the weights on invoices or picking notes – These can be inaccurate and shouldn’t be trusted. Weigh your rig to know for sure.
- Change your routing – Schedule your drop-offs before your pick-ups. Pay particular attention to dense and heavy loads. These items add significant weight compared to their bulk which make overloading more likely. Schedule these for dropping off sooner than later.
- Train your drivers – Make sure they understand proper loading techniques. They should take charge of the loading process at picks-ups and direct forklift operators where to place the loads.