The concept of load monitoring is important for various reasons. And safety tops that list. Apart from being a safety issue, it’s required by the law. Truckers need to monitor their loads to avoid the many risks to road safety caused by overloading.
But overloading isn’t the only reason to monitor the loads you’re hauling, under-loading is on the other end of the spectrum and neither of them is a desirable situation. Your truck must carry the ideal target weight to minimise repair costs and maximise profits. That means the load must not be too heavy or light.
To prevent your loads affecting your business negatively, let’s discuss load monitoring in detail.
Effects of Short Loading Your Truck
As mentioned earlier, every truck must carry the correct load weight to optimise efficiency. Short-loading your truck when hauling basically means you’re underutilising it. In other words, you’re not operating the truck at its full potential. If that’s the case, you can expect to see a decline in productivity.
A decline in productivity unfortunately has a ripple effect on your company’s triple bottom line. Low productivity will negatively affect your revenue.
Increase in Operational Costs
By under-loading your vehicles, it also means possibly conducting more trips to transport a load that may not require as many. As a result, you’ll incur higher fuel costs.
Because your vehicles are being used more frequently than is necessary, wear-and-tear is even more apparent. This will mean more vehicle repair and maintenance costs.
Effects of Overloading
Damage to Infrastructure
The damage caused by overloaded vehicles far exceeds that of the inventory or trucks. It affects the state’s economy as a whole since overweight trucks damage infrastructure such as roads.
Because of damaged roads, the state incurs huge repair and maintenance costs using funds that could have been used for other projects.
Overloading your trucks can damage your vehicle over time. You’re basically exerting more pressure on the vehicle than it can handle.
Overloading your truck can also result in your tires overheating. This causes premature wear-and-tear of the tires and blow-outs in worst case scenarios. The end result is an increase in repair costs. Also, the increased stress on the truck will lead to higher fuel consumption.
In addition, you’re putting the warranty coverage of your trucks at risk. For any warranty claims to be approved, you need to meet the requirements stipulated by the manufacturer. And that includes using the trucks appropriately and not abusing them by overloading.
Warranty isn’t the only aspect you should be worried about if you overload your trucks. Insurance companies are less likely to be impressed with your vehicle overloading tendencies. Because it’s illegal, your insurance claims can be voided.
Braking Made Difficult
Not only tires are affected by heavy loads but brakes too. More pressure is exerted on the brakes so they have to work harder. This could lead to the brakes overheating making it difficult to stop the vehicle in emergency situations.
Affect Vehicle Stability
Aside from damaging your vehicle, overloading affects its stability. Not only will steering your truck become more difficult, but it’ll also take longer to stop which may lead to accidents.
Loss of Control
Controlling an overloaded vehicle is never an easy task. It compromises the driver’s control of the truck which can unfortunately lead to an accident.
We understand that trucks carrying heavy loads must move at reasonable and controlled speeds. But an overloaded truck moves even slower than normal. Reaching your intended destination may take you longer than necessary which can affect scheduling and delivery.
Night Driving Hazard
Driving an overloaded truck can be disastrous. Heavy loads cause the headlights of the truck to tilt upwards. Unfortunately this blinds oncoming drivers limiting their visibility as they drive. They won’t be able to see any obstructions on the road which can also lead to accidents.
Other factors that may result from improper loading can include:
- Obstructing the driver’s view
- Failure to properly secure the load
- Displacement or dislodgement of the load
- Tipping over
How to Monitor the Load
Fortunately, there are many load monitoring equipment and systems at your disposal that you can use to weigh & stabilise your load before hauling. These include:
- Axle load tracking: This system is ideally suited for freight, dump and garbage trucks.
- Cargo-weight monitoring system: Here you mount axle load sensors onto the truck to ensure stability
- Vehicle tracking system: You use GPS signals to locate your vehicles throughout the duration of the trip.
We strongly recommend that you transport the appropriate load at all times to avoid the above-mentioned problems. Not only will you significantly reduce the risk of injuries or fatalities, but load monitoring protects your vehicle and safeguards your finances.
Do the right and responsible thing for everyone concerned.