Nearly 50% of van drivers drive overloaded vans, a survey has found.
According to the survey, nearly half of UK businesses don’t monitor the weights of their company vehicles, and 53% of drivers don’t know their vehicle’s maximum load carrying capacity.
All companies have a ‘duty of care’ under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1999 for the safety of employees at work. If someone is driving on your behalf, they are as much ‘at work’ as if they were in a factory or an office.
This means that an employer must do all they can to ensure the safety of that driver, including having policies in place to ensure that their vehicle is not overloaded. The Act also places a duty of care on the employer to carry out suitable risk assessments.
What will happen if I overload my vehicle?
An overweight vehicle will not only cause damage to roads and to your vehicle but also put drivers and other road users at risk. Overloading a vehicle:
• Makes the vehicle less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weight that they are designed to carry is exceeded. The consequences can be fatal.
• Puts massive strain on vehicle tyres. Overloading can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure (such as blow outs).
• Means insurance cover is void. Overloading a vehicle is illegal and therefore insurance cover can be void if the vehicle is involved in a crash.
• Increases fuel consumption, which will increase your costs.
Advice for van drivers
• Know the weight and weight limits of your vehicle
• Be careful not to mix up the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) with the Gross Train Weight (GTW)
• Remember that the GVW includes the weight of the vehicle, driver, load and any passengers
• Ensure the load is distributed evenly
• Ensure the GVW is checked before setting out
It’s important that businesses choose the right van for the job. Days Fleet work closely with clients to ensure that the correct vehicles are selected from both an operational and whole-life cost perspective.
Talk to us today about how we can help you, 0845 815 0019 or contact us.