On their own, tractor trailers can be difficult to handle. This becomes especially apparent if they go over their normal load limits. An overloaded truck can make tractor trailer driving even more dangerous. It’s important to be aware of the risks that come with overloading and improperly loading your truck…
Overloaded Truck: Understanding the Issue
Federal law caps the weight limit for commercial vehicles at 80,000 pounds. However, that doesn’t mean that all trucks can carry that weight. That’s why it’s important to know how much your truck can handle to avoid having an overloaded truck.
Your truck’s total capacity is determined by a number of things. These include it’s braking system, drive train, axles, and wheels just to name a few. However, each truck should have a sticker letting you know what its capacity is. Exceeding this capacity could cause your truck components to wear down and break.
Damaged components are not the only risk that comes with an overloaded truck. These vehicles also are much harder to handle than usual. The added weight makes your truck less responsive and more likely to have the heavier trailer swing out of control.
Rollovers and Jackknifing
Rollovers and jackknifing are also more common on overloaded trucks. So is losing control over your truck, especially when going downhill. These all can increase the risk of accidents to both you and other drivers. That’s why it’s much safer to drive with a properly loaded truck.
Your truck doesn’t have to be over its weight limit to be overloaded. In fact, sometimes you can have an overloaded truck due to improper loading. Improper loading can cause one side of your truck to be heavier than another, causing issues for you when driving.
For example, a truck with too much weight on the left side will struggle to turn right. This unbalanced load will also increase the chance of rollovers during left turns. That’s why it’s important to make sure your cargo is loaded safely and balanced.
Overloaded trucks might seem like a way to move a bit more cargo each trip. However, the risks far outweigh the benefits. Everyone on the road is much safer when trucks carry loads within their weight limits.