An article written by Irma Venter from Creamer Media, highlights the concerns of law enforcement on vehicle overloading. In 2014, 20% of about 2-million vehicles that were weighed at the South African weighbridges, exceeded the weight limit. According to Dr Paul Nordengen from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), only 2.6% of the 20% were prosecuted. Dr. Nordengen further explains that the big problem is corruption, officers accepting bribes and operators paying their way through the weighbridges.
“A heavily overloaded truck can literally rip up the asphalt on a hot summer’s day as it tries to pull away,” says Nordengen. He further explains that a lot of operators use provincial routes to avoid weighbridges and estimates that the damage to South Africa’s road network owing to overloading is around R1-billion a year.
Some transporting companies overload cargo to try and maximise on the payload, operational efficiency and at the same time reduce the overall fuel cost. It is important to avoid overloading for the following reasons:
- Overloading increases the engine’s performance, therefore increasing the fuel consumption.
- Increases the vehicle upkeep
- Illegal offence that can lead to a penalty
- Vehicles are less stable on the road and therefore increase the risk of accidents
- Lowering speed going up hill, inefficient engine braking and over speeding on downhill slopes
An article written by Tristan Wiggill of Transport World Africa offers some guidelines below to avoid overloading.
- Weigh each truck after loading with a weighbridge
- Ensure that drivers and operating staff are familiar with the legal limits for loading vehicles
- Ensure subcontractors are aware of the legal requirements for vehicle loading stipulated in the subcontractors’ contract.
- It is risky to load vehicles to the limit, especially for goods such as bricks that increase in weight if it becomes wet.
- A multi-deck weighbridge is ideal for a large plant or mine
- After the truck is being weighed, provide the driver with a print out of the weight that is loaded.
Globaltrack’s Fleet Management Solution; Webtrack’s has a door report function that provides a log of all the door open and close events. This function can prevent drivers from picking up passengers, adding to the weight of the load and increasing the fuel consumption.