SAFE loading: the temptation to carry some more bricks or another couple of bags of cement – along with the rest of the clobber in your van – is understandable.
But are you carrying too much?
Are you overloading your van?
Can it really carry all that weight safely?
Spotting an overloaded van isn’t difficult and agencies are becoming more aware of this.
The FTA’s Van Excellence scheme has this advice for business van operators on safe loading:
- It’s crucial to know the van’s maximum overall weight and the maximum weight allowed for each axle.
- It’s important to avoid overloading one axle (typically front) by making sure the load is distributed properly and remember it may need redistributing and re-securing as the load is delivered.
- Usually the limits for the van can be found on the manufacturer’s plate – make sure you know where to find it.
- Overloading can be dangerous for a driver and it can also change the way a van handles, especially if the load is unsecure which could lead to some serious damage to the van and its contents.
- Loads should always be secure, a shifting load could potentially damage the equipment as well as the interior of the van, which will eventually reduce the vehicles residual value and lead to recharge fees for rental and leased vans. It could be a small package or piece of equipment that could become a deadly missile in a collision.
- If in any doubt, check your van’s weight at a local weighbridge, the van weight includes any fuel, weight of the driver or any passengers so it’s important that your load is secured and properly distributed.
Overloaded vans can now leave drivers and their employers with a £5,000 fine, per offence and prosecution would adversely affect an organisation’s Operator Licence if trucks are also operated.