Since the introduction of Chain of Responsibility Legislation (CoR) – which recognises that the vehicle driver is not the only person to be held responsible for driving an overloaded vehicle, but rather that multiple parties may be responsible for offences committed by the drivers and operators of heavy vehicles and that legal liability applies to all parties for their actions or inactions – it has become almost mandatory for commercial vehicle operators to install overload warning systems in their vehicles.
But overloading a truck isn’t just a question of breaching the law and facing financial penalties. The consequences are far-reaching and can be tragic.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why an overload warning system for your truck or van is such a vital accessory.
Very simply, an overloaded vehicle is a road safety hazard. Overloading makes the vehicle more unstable, braking distance is increased, stopping distances are increased, tyre failure rates are higher and emergency handling capability and manoeuvrability are compromised. Also, when an overloaded truck is involved in an accident, the consequences are more severe than if it were legally loaded because the impact forces are greater and therefore the damage to other vehicles or infrastructure is greater.
Moreover, overloaded vehicles do more damage to road surfaces and other infrastructure such as bridges, overpasses and pavements and this in turn can increase the risk to other road users.
Overloading also puts more strain on the vehicle itself, resulting in more frequent maintenance and a shorter vehicle life. An overload warning system can help reduce these costs.
An onboard overload warning system takes away any guesswork and avoids accidental loading errors. It allows drivers to make decisions about whether their load needs to be adjusted or reduced as it enables the onboard weighing of loaded products, identifies when a vehicle load is nearing or exceeding legal gross vehicle mass (GVM) and can measure individual axle loadings.
There are different types of overload warning systems specifically engineered for different vehicle types, for examples vans and light commercial vehicles, high capacity spring suspension trucks and trailers, air suspension vehicles, waste and recycling vehicles, bulk tippers, rigid trucks and draw-bar vehicles.
Technological advancements have brought the cost of such systems down and there are many cost-effective, reliable and easy to operate options now available.
In a nutshell, here are the key reasons why vehicles should have an overload warning system:
- Enhanced road safety
- Reduces possibility of legal infringements
- Creates safer working conditions
- Prolongs the life of vehicles and reduces maintenance costs
- Ensures correct weight distribution
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of overload warning systems, contact the industry professionals, AccuOnboard. They are Australia’s most experienced weighing company and are the exclusive distributor of the highly regarded PM Onboard range of onboard weighing systems. Contact us today or browse our website for a comprehensive guide to onboard weighing systems across a range of vehicle types.