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Truck safety for fleet managers: overloading

Friday, January 15, 2016

By: Rich Zambroski, Manager, Truck Excellence, Element Fleet Management

Do you know truck overloading is one of the leading causes of truck-related accidents? Overweight or unbalanced payloads increase the probability of a driver losing control of the vehicle. According to a rule published last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Rollover and loss-of-control crashes involving heavy vehicles is a serious safety issue that is responsible for 304 fatalities and 2,738 injuries annually ... they are also a major cause of traffic tie-ups, resulting in millions of dollars of lost productivity, and excess energy consumption each year."

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Hazards of overloaded trucks include:

Shifting cargo and unbalanced payloads
Improperly loaded and/or overloaded cargo has a higher chance of moving while in-transit, potentially causing the load to shift during a lane change.

Reduction of Emergency Handling Capability
Overloaded vehicles have increased braking distances and can lead to drivers misjudging stopping distances.

Costs Increase
The unnecessary wear-and-tear on an overloaded truck increases maintenance and operation costs.

Liability Exposure Increase
Since overloading is a risk and safety management issue, your fleet may be held accountable for accidents caused by overloading.

Get ahead of the curve and make proper truck loading a priority for your fleet. It will save money and possibly lives. Do you have any tips on how you avoid truck overloading? If you're unsure about this or another issue, through our end-to-end suite of truck fleet services, we can help.

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