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Eight epic overloads

We all know overloading vehicles leads to unsafe situations and causes injuries and deaths. If you need a reminder, here are the eight biggest dangers of overloading your truck

The 797 Mining Truck is Caterpillar’s largest, highest capacity haul truck. It weighs more than 625,000 kilograms and has a 3,370 HP engine. It can safely carry close to 330 tonnes. 

But what happens when one tries to carry 545 tonnes? A $3.4 million disaster!

It might sound obvious, but overloading your truck is dangerous. It leads to unsafe situations and causes injuries and sadly, even deaths. 

Here are the eight biggest dangers of overloading your truck:

1.    Crashes

When a load is overweight and unstable, braking distances increase and the chances of losing control go up exponentially. It’s easy for a driver to misjudge the stopping distance and crash into another vehicle, person or stationary object, causing injury or death.

2.    Rollovers

Overweight cargo is more likely to shift, which can result in loads being distributed haphazardly. When a load shifts during a lane change or sudden turn, there’s higher risk of rollover.

The risk of tyre failure is higher too. When the load increases, the tyres run hotter and the centre of gravity is raised, also making the truck more susceptible to tipping. 

3.    Wear and tear

Overloading vehicles significantly increases fuel consumption. Tyres are more prone to wear, steering becomes more difficult and brakes take longer to react. 

This can dramatically affect vehicle handling, increase deterioration as well as the likelihood of a costly – and potentially fatal - accident.

Because overloading shortens a truck’s service it also increases your operating expenses.

4.    Height restrictions

It’s important to check the height of your cargo and be careful not to overload it to a height that might increase the risk of hitting power lines, bridges, tunnels, tram wires, signage and trees. 

Not only will you damage your vehicle, you’ll destroy road infrastructure and possibly make the 5pm news for all the wrong reasons. 

5.    Damage to infrastructure

Overloading causes considerable damage to the road network, including both bitumen and gravel roads, bridges, tunnels and overpasses and causing disproportionally more damaged than a legally loaded vehicle.

It contributes to the serious problem and cost of maintaining road safety on our roads, which costs more than $15.8 billion per year across all three tiers of government.

6.    Break the law

It’s illegal to overload your vehicle in Australia. 

Penalties are calculated on the percentage that the load is over the allowable weight, whether the person charged is an individual or a company and whether this is a first or subsequent offence.

Overloading can result in the suspension of both the driver's and/or an operator’s licence. 

As overloading is illegal it can potentially undermine your insurance cover – leaving you with a costly bill if the vehicle is involved in a crash.

7.    Loss of stock

Whether it’s in-avertedly supplying too much to your customer, loosing poorly secured and overloaded stock or damaging cargo in an accident, overloading your trucks may result in loss of stock and seriously impact your bottom line.

8.    Workplace injury and death

Australian truck drivers are 15 times more likely to die than workers in any other industry. 

A recent Safe Work Australia report found 20 per cent of drivers and operators break safety rules, including overloading regulations, to meet deadlines.

How can I fix the problem?

“So, how can I prevent overloading without wasting extra time and money?” we hear you ask. It’s easy; check your loads with an onboard weighing system. 

When attaching your Wheel Loader with an onboard weighing system, you’ll able to weigh anytime and anywhere, whether your loader is at the bottom of a mine or on opposite end of the site to the weighbridge.

If you need an onboard weighing system to reduce accidents, improve efficiency and potentially save lives, please phone us on 1800 818 079, email the Kerfab sales team at Sales@Kerfab.com.au, or visit us at our Kerang factory – we’re very happy to share our expertise with you. 
 

We all know overloading vehicles leads to unsafe situations and causes injuries and deaths. If you need a reminder, here are the eight biggest dangers of overloading your truck

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