How overloaded trucks put you at risk

| May 15, 2021 | blog, Motorcycle Accidents |

Trucking companies keep profits as high as possible by delivering the most goods in the shortest amount of time. However, if they do this by cutting corners, they risk the safety of cargo and drivers. It also increases the risk to you and those in vehicles around them on Tennessee roads.

According to the Association for the Work Truck Industry, the gross vehicle weight rating represents the maximum vehicle weight. It includes payload, body, chassis and auxiliary equipment. The gross combined weight rating is the maximum allowable weight for a trailer, cargo, and truck combined.

Truck overload statutes

State shipping regulations govern the dimensions, weight and overhang of commercial vehicles. Trucking companies must also comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules. These regulations cover several specifications for cargo loading, including the following:

  • Guidelines associated with carrying loads wider or longer than the truck
  • Special permits for transporting concrete, unusually large objects, heavy machinery, steel pipes or logs
  • Properly secured cargo using dunnage or dunnage backs, cradles, tiedowns and wedges

Trucking companies risk significant fines for loads that exceed maximum limits or fail to meet other requirements.

Dangerous loads

Trucking companies may overload cargo so that they can ship more at one time. This presents many dangers to you and the driver. Loads that exceed the weight rating impacts the drivability of the rig. Not only does steering become more difficult, but it also takes longer to stop. Drivers may misjudge the new distance or become unable to control the vehicle.

When trucks aren’t on the road, it costs the company money. If the truck doesn’t get the maintenance checks it needs, it can break down more often. Brakes and suspension may fail if wear and tear goes unnoticed for too long, putting you at risk. If you have severe injuries from a collision with a semi-truck, understanding your rights is critical for filing a claim.