THE VERY WORST OF #LOADFAIL
When preparing the material for our recent webinar, ‘Is Your Load Killing Your Ute?’ we came across some fairly outrageous, and downright dangerous, examples of motorists overloading their vehicles.
The webinar – which you can now register for and watch on demand here – highlighted how vehicle owners and tradespeople can stay safer on Australian roads.
But one webinar was never going to fix the problem, and #Loadfail images have continued hitting our social media feeds. While some of these examples draw wry chuckles, it’s important to remember that vehicle overloading is a very serious issue, and something that can have fatal consequences – as you can read about in our recent blog with NSW Police officer Chief Inspector Phil Brooks.
Here are some situations you should avoid when loading up your vehicle.
Moving house always poses a difficult question – do I deal with the hassle of shifting everything myself, or shoulder the expense of hiring a professional removalist?
Those who choose the former need to be very careful to ensure they’re not unsafely loading up their ute.
Often unwieldy and awkward to transport, drivers should be very careful to avoid packing too much into a single trip.
If you’re moving, plan ahead and divide your furniture over multiple loads to ensure you stay as safe as possible out on the road.
If in doubt, take two trips.
While some of these loads won’t put a huge dent in your ute’s payload capacity, they can still land you in a lot of trouble.
Packing above the dimensions of your ute can cause drivers to end up afoul of everything from bridges with low clearances and roads with overhead trees to parking lot entrances.
If your load knocks a bridge or low clearance, you run a very serious risk of causing property damage, or in a worst-case scenario, injury to another road user.
The best way to avoid height #Loadfails is to use a vehicle or light truck that has a long enough tray for your materials to be laid down flat.
A recurring theme in #Loadfail images is overflowing ute trays with their contents held together by luck as much as by any proper load restraint system.
Especially at high speeds, unsecured loads can become dangerous projectiles if they fly out of a ute tray.
To avoid seeing your photo on a Police force’s social media account, make sure you’re taking the time to double-check your load is securely restrained.
Many ute owners look to trailers as a way of lessening their risk of overloading their vehicle, but hitching the trailer onto your vehicle can create a whole new set of headaches.
Some of these examples illustrate the situations where the decision to tow a trailer places a ute driver, and everyone sharing the road with them, in harm’s way.
In addition to the risk factor, the weight of your trailer has a significant impact on your rear axle’s payload.
When drivers are regularly towing a full trailer behind a full tray, they can often run into problems with their chassis – something tradespeople should be very wary of to avoid a very costly repair.
If you recognise that you’ve engaged in any of these loading behaviours, you might find registering for the ‘Is Your Load Killing Yout Ute?’ webinar useful. Not only does it explain how to identify what your ute can legally, and safely, carry, but it will help avoid the embarrassment of turning up on Facebook under #Loadfail.