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The Dangers of Overloaded Trucks

big rig burnt after fire on a road

For years, trucking companies and truck drivers have tried to increase profits in any way they can, same as any business or businessman would do; however, they don’t always choose what many would consider ethical avenues to pursue to increase their pay. One such method that happens again and again that inevitably puts truck drivers’ lives and all those on the roads’ lives at stake is overloading. Fully loaded commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, but that doesn’t stop some unscrupulous go-getters to exceed that limit and put countless people at risk.

Trucks are designed to operate and be maneuvered up to that legal weight threshold, above that and things start to go awry quickly. Mechanical errors can occur as the machine, particularly the engine and wheels, need to work that much harder to pull the extra weight around. In the long run, trucks deteriorate more quickly when overloaded and may wind up costing trucking companies more in repairs and new fleets than making more runs with the appropriate weight limit; as the trucking industry faces a recession, it may seem in the best interest to run the risk of driving overweight hauls to maximize profits quickly before the market spirals any further.

If the machine doesn’t fail, the driver will likely have a much more difficult time controlling their rig with the additional weight they’re carrying. The top three control issues they would face include:

  • Inability to stop properly: The added weight means it will take longer to slow down using the brakes, which can easily cause a rear-end accident or a T-bone collision. Additionally, when going downhill, the added weight will speed the truck up and the driver will have a much more difficult time maneuvering around other vehicles and obstacles.
  • The suspension is overworked: The truck’s suspension coils will be compressed due to the added weight, which can quickly cause trouble if any wheels were to pop off the ground and the driver is unable to regain full control and get the rig level again.
  • Maneuverability: The added weight can cause the trailer to sway and the driver may not be able to handle driving straight, let alone turns or curves, properly.

While the trucking industry feels the pinch of a recession, more drivers and/or companies may try to overload their trucks, putting everyone on the road at risk. If you’ve been in an accident with a truck, contact us to represent you as your injury lawyer to ensure you see justice served.

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