Truck overloading accounts for 5 percent of tractor trailer accidents
PENN — Why do trucking companies overload trucks? Faulty thinking for sure but let’s assume that commercial trucking company overload cargo because of greed and time. Trucking companies are under pressure to deliver on a schedule which most likely encourages overloading. Also with higher fuel costs, the less trips having to be made – the more profitable the journey.
What’s not being taken into consideration is that by overloading, it shortens the service life of the truck. Overloading is a huge liability especially since it’s so avoidable and unjustified.
Overloading causes increased tire failure because the tractor trailer runs hotter, has faster brake wear, less fuel economy, and unnecessary downtime caused by premature wear and tear on the transmission. An overloaded tractor trailer truck takes longer to stop and will most likely rear end another vehicle when it needs to make an emergency stop. Overloaded commercial trucks go slower uphill and faster downhill.
Lookout. An overloaded large truck is a fatal accident waiting to happen.
There’s a potential killer domino effect here. An overloaded vehicle is already in the wrong. It’s overloaded because of the pressure to deliver on schedule. Another way to arrive on schedule is to drive too fast. Now you have a tractor trailer with an overloaded vehicle who is driving too fast. Both of these negatives will affect a driver’s ability to control a truck. Loads that are overweight, overloaded, unbalanced, or shift while moving are lethal elements in causing a driver to lose it all and lose control. If the load shifts when making a lane change or sudden turn, the truck may rollover.
Federal, state, and local regulations govern the weight of commercial vehicles. However, that is not enough of a deterrent to overloading.