One of the main issues in the trucking industry is overloading. Overloading violates federal laws, makes it unsafe, and increases the likelihood of severe truck accidents. If you have driven trucks for some time, you understand how overloading impacts their stability and safety. Every vehicle has a weight limit, and surpassing the limit poses a level of danger. In addition to excess weight, overloading can also mean uneven load distribution. It is vital to distribute the load in a truck to balance evenly. Trucks are susceptible to rollovers, and unbalanced loads only increase the risk. Overloading a truck impacts accidents in several ways. The following are ways excessive loading increased accidents.
It Affects Stability
As mentioned, loading excess weight on a truck affects its stability. A driver who uses muscle memory to drive works based on driving a standard truck. The same procedure does not apply to an overloaded truck. Something as simple as changing a lane could lead to an accident or rollover. A quick lane change could cause swerving or rolling over if the trailer has unbalanced or excess weight. The driver must also put extra effort into steering when avoiding obstacles. If time is urgent, it might be too late to move away from another vehicle or person, leading to a severe accident.
Overloading Impacts Stopping Distance
The heavier the truck, the harder it will be to stop. Overloading a heavy vehicle affects its control, a dangerous aspect when driving in heavy traffic or on narrow roads. Always use a portable axle scales for sale to ensure the weight does not exceed the limit. It will help the driver set the proper stopping distance without crashing or hitting someone. Truck drivers receive operational training, which does not involve driving loaded trucks.
It Causes Truck Failure
Overloading a truck can impact its performance in any way. For instance, even though truck tires are strong and made to withstand pressure and a considerable amount of weight, they also have a limit. Excess load can cause tire bursts, leading to a severe accident. It could also cause mechanical failure as the truck components strain beyond their limit to carry the load. Some parts, like the brakes, suspension, and transmission components, receive direct impact when a vehicle is overloaded. Brakes become hard to control, the suspension system wears down, and the transmission system must work harder, all to meet the demand of hauling a heavy load. Truck failure is another culprit of road accidents.
Overloading Leads to Road Damage
There is a higher risk of getting in an accident with an overloaded truck. The risk does not end there. Commercial trucks can carry up to 80 thousand pounds, including the cargo. When a trailer exceeds this limit, it not only puts stress on its components but also the road. This causes road degradation and increases the risk of collapsing a bridge if it passes through.
In most cases, overloading trucks is often due to money issues. It costs more to break a load into smaller portions and transport these portions in different trucks or several trips. Therefore, some trucking and cargo companies would overload their trucks to cut their bottom line. It is risky, not only to the vehicle and the driver but also to other road users.