In this blog we’ve made numerous mentions of how important it is not to overload your van. But we’re not the only ones that think so.
The FTA do as well and this week produced an article with their thoughts on the subject.
We frequently run a 3.5t vehicle at maximum weight to test out new software so we have first hand knowledge of how a heavily laden vehicle handles. And our drivers, some of them qualified Class 1 HGV drivers incidentally, report that they frequently feel unsafe driving the vehicle with that much weight on even though it is legally loaded.
Overloading a van affects so many of the major components of the vehicle that it is hardly surprising it would feel unstable, handle poorly and could be extremely dangerous.
An accident involving an overloaded van could also conceivably invalidate any insurance. And make any new insurance difficult, and expensive, to obtain.
Many professional van operators have invested in axle weighing systems, either a permanent installation, portable or onboard.
|Axtec OnBoard Protecting Against Van Overloads|
A permanent system is ideal if the van is leaving the yard loaded and coming back empty. Drivers can check their axle and gross weights without leaving the cab in most cases.
Portable weighpads are ideal for infrequent weighing and spot checks but do have limitations and advice should be sort before buying them for regular high throughput use. Maybe even try a set out?
The most frequently specified system, and the best option for vehicles on multi-drop work, is the Axtec OnBoard Load Indicator.
With a simple monitor showing axle and gross weights in colour, green for legal, amber for approaching maximum and flashing red for an overload, the driver gets a clear indication of how heavy his van is.
No manual controls, so the driver can’t change any of the settings or be in the wrong mode and a unique customer calibration facility so no expensive routine service visits are needed.
With modern technology, overloading a van can be easily avoided.