Why overloaded trucks become dangerous

| Jun 1, 2021 | Firm News |

When sharing Tennessee roadways with tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks, a smooth trip can turn devastating instantly. If the truck’s cargo exceeds maximum load limits, it increases the potential for a collision. Even if other drivers take precautions and practice defensive driving techniques, a life-altering crash may happen. 

When sharing Tennessee roadways with tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks, a smooth trip can turn devastating instantly. If the truck’s cargo exceeds maximum load limits, it increases the potential for a collision. Even if other drivers take precautions and practice defensive driving techniques, a life-altering crash may happen. 

Cargo securement rules

Commercial vehicles that transport cargo on public roadways must meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. These requirements help prevent the load from blowing, falling, leaking or spilling from the truck. Regulations cover a variety of rules for securing cargo, such as the following: 

  • Proper use of tie-downs, anchor points and edge protection 
  • Front-end structures or header-boards 
  • Requirements for transporting steel pipes, heavy machinery, unusually large objects and concrete 
  • Guidelines for posting load warnings 

Additional guidelines address the frame and chassis requirements, rear-end protection and load weights. 

Overloaded truck dangers

The gross vehicle weight rating determines the maximum load limit. The Association for the Work Truck Industry reports that the GVWR takes into consideration the following components: 

  • Brakes 
  • Powertrain 
  • Suspension 
  • Number of axles 

Drivers hauling loads that exceed official limits have a higher potential for an accident. 

A load that is too heavy for the mechanical components, such as the suspension and brakes, makes handling the rig challenging. It may need more time and space before coming to a complete stop. If a trailer swings forward and to the side rapidly, it can jackknife. When the driver loses control of his truck at highway speeds, the consequences may include a collision that involves multiple cars and catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical care. 

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