Thursday, 16 August 2018

How many of your vans might be overloaded?

Two weighing exercises in recent weeks with two very different clients, one a utility company the other a housing association, but both operating very similar 3.5t vans.

The objective with both was to determine what if any incidences of overloading they were experiencing.

Both were aware of the dangers of overloading – it affects the brakes, steering, clutch, suspension, tyres and the basic safety of the vehicle – so were hoping that no issues would be found.

Using portable weighpads we arranged for a number of their vehicles to be weighed at different locations under supervision to ensure the pads were used correctly.

Checking for Van overloads Using Portable Weighpads
Whilst finding no overloads would have been ideal it was perhaps inevitable that some issues would be found.

Much to the clients’ disappointment, there were quite a few vehicles that caused concern. In one case 16% and in the other a staggering 20% of the vehicles were over their permitted weight.

Many more were very close to the limit and the addition of a passenger, more fuel or even marginally more in the load space and they would have been overloaded.

Most of the overloads were fairly minor and in isolation unlikely to attract a prosecution. But it has been known for insurance to be invalidated if an overloaded vehicle is involved in an accident and persistent, minor infringements would certainly attract the attention of the authorities.

Sometimes these weight checks can provide peace of mind but without going through the exercise operators are usually unaware if they are running legally laden or not.

One of these latest clients also operate larger vehicles and whilst the smaller 3.5t vans are not on the ‘O’ licence, any overloading offences must be reported to the Traffic Commissioner and could affect an application or renewal at a later date.

Are your vans running legally laden? If you think a free weight check might be useful help then contact us and we’ll be delighted to help.