Overloading

Most of us know that there is no real advantage in overloading your vehicle but there can be situations when this can occur either by mistake or accident.

The HVNL states that a person must not drive a heavy vehicle on a road when its total weight exceeds its mass requirements. There are also implications under the Chain of Responsibility where drivers, loaders, packers, weighbridge staff, consignors, managers, and even senior executives can be held responsible for overloading.  Anyone who can influence the mass of the vehicle or its load, or does nothing to prevent breaches can be held liable.

But what happens when you get to the weighbridge and the inspector finds you are over limit. Well the first thing is that an authorised officer may issue you with a formal warning, infringement notice or offence report depending on the circumstances and their assessment of the risk the overloading poses. Mass breaches are classified as minor, substantial and severe, depending on how much the load exceeds the legal limit that applies to you. When classifying the breach, the authorised officer

(including transport inspectors and police officers) will also take into account the level of risk the breach poses to public safety and the potential damage to infrastructure.

If a breach is detected then the Authorised officers must take action to correct the issue immediately or move the vehicle to a place where the breach can be rectified.

This means that you may not be able to proceed on your journey until the load is rectified and is deemed to no longer pose a risk. In this case you may need to contact a supervisor to send out another vehicle, or organise another way to rectify the load so that you can continue on your journey in compliance with the load limits.

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