Are you concerned you may be hauling too much on your truck? The legal weight limit on commercial trucks in Canada is 15,422 kg per axle. The weight limit is in place to ensure the safety of you and other drivers on the road. Trucks that are hauling too much weight can become unevenly balanced, leading to the risk of them tipping over, swaying so much they run off the road or into other cars, or even causing mechanical problems on the truck itself.
You don't always know how much weight your truck is carrying, since other people usually do the loading. The last thing you want is to get ticketed at a weigh station or by the police. Your employer doesn't want to pay those tickets, either (which they have to do if you get one). Here are three ways to keep your truck within the legal weight limit while still pleasing your employer.
1. Carry Portable Weight Scales
There are portable weight scales on the market now at places like Ancoma Scales that you can use to measure your load. These can come in very handy if you are not sure if you are over the weight limit when you start out on your route. If you suspect things may be too heavy while you're driving, usually because of swaying or drag in the back, you can stop and use the scales.
Portable weight scales work by measuring the weight of each axle to give you a total weight for your whole haul. According to the Yakima Herald, they are being used in some areas of the United States right now by law enforcement as an adjunct to the highway weigh stations.
You can get your own portable weight scale and carry it in your truck, so you will never get caught carrying too much weight. If you discover your truck is too heavy, you can call your employer to make the necessary arrangements to correct it before getting back on the road and hitting the next weigh station.
2. Check Your Truck for Imbalances
You should ideally do this before you leave the loading dock with your haul. Check the back of your truck to see if it is leaning one way or another. A properly weighted truck should always stand up straight and evenly.
Check the tires, too. If they seem like they are being pushed down too much (to the degree that it is noticeable), you are probably carrying too much weight on your truck. Make arrangements to lighten the load before you leave, and you will avoid problems on your way to your destination.
3. Offer to Split a Load With Another Trucker
Sometimes, you just know that your truck has been overloaded before you even get in it. As a professional, you'll develop an eye for this kind of thing the longer you work as a trucker. You can ask the loaders to stop before things get out of hand, or call your employer about it. However, things usually have to get where they're going on a deadline.
You can make sure that happens by offering to share your load with another trucker. Most will be happy to help you out, as no one wants to see their fellow truckers get tickets. If you notice another trucker with a load that is obviously well under the weight limit, that is the one to ask about sharing.
Making sure your truck is within the legal weight limits for Canada is part of your job as a trucker. The responsibility is not totally that of the loaders or your employer. All of you must work together to ensure your truck is within the legal weight limits. By following the advice here, you can be sure you're doing your part.