Friday, 10 July 2015

Van overloading - a hot topic

Some recent research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that nearly half of van drivers are driving their vehicles overloaded.

They also discovered that about half of companies don’t monitor the weights on their vehicles and that more than half of drivers don’t know their maximum weights.

You can read the full item here.

Overloading a van has a detrimental effect on nearly all the major components – brakes, steering, clutch, tyres and suspension. In short it’s highly dangerous and might even invalidate the insurance should the van be involved in an accident.

During some of our own research into overload logging software, we ran a 3.5t van fully laden for a couple of weeks. The driver, a highly experienced Class 1 driver, noted how unstable the vehicle felt and how unresponsive the steering was.

In short, he didn’t feel safe driving it even though it was just within its design limit and he was used to driving much bigger vehicles.

But if the statistics are to be believed then well over 1 million of these vans could be being driven on our roads every day, possibly with the driver unaware.

Unfortunately ignorance is not a defence and with VOSA finding that 89% of the vans they stopped in 2014 were overloaded, that’s an awful lot of fines and penalty points handed out.

Fortunately not all operators rely on the ignorance defence and contact us for a solution.
No van overloading here!

The Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator is fitted to more 3.5t vans than everything else put together.

Fitted in half a day without adding any significant weight  to the vehicle Axtec OnBoard will show the driver both his axle weights and his gross weight instantly. No knobs, buttons or switches just a clear, simple, colour display showing legal weights in green, anything over 80% in amber and all overloads as flashing red.

For managers, the system can store incidences of overloads or connect to a tracking device with some able to provide information in real time.

Axtec OnBoard is inexpensive to fit and, with a unique customer calibration facility, inexpensive to own as well as no service engineer needs to visit for any routine re-setting.

And with the system fitted to his van, the driver knows at every stage during his day what the axle and gross weights are and know he’s running legally and safely. So the ‘ignorance’ defence need never have to be used again.

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