Commercial trucks allow companies to ship products throughout the nation, fulfilling customer orders and keeping the country’s shelves and pantries stocked. An important aspect of the transportation process is when these products are loaded onto the vehicle. If the loading portion isn’t done properly, it can result in a disaster on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the proper method for loading a truck and provides a handbook for drivers which details the rules regarding securing cargo. When drivers fail to uphold these rules, they can lose control of their vehicle and cause a truck accident.
The following are the common dangers associated with overloaded and improperly loaded truck cargo:
- When the cargo exceeds the maximum allowable weight (total of up to 80,000 pounds), it can cause the truck to break down if it isn’t adequately maintained. Excess weight can negatively impact the truck’s ability to brake and can result in tire blowouts.
- Whether the cargo’s weight is distributed unevenly to one side or if it is loaded in a fashion that makes the trailer substantially top heavy, a sudden turn can result in a rollover accident.
- When the cargo is not properly secured, it runs the risk of shifting around during the drive. Again, a sudden turn at high speeds can result in a rollover accident.
Those responsible for loading the vehicle are required to adhere to the FMCSA regulations and it is the duty of the trucker to inspect the cargo to make sure that it is loaded safely and secured properly for transport. If any of these groups fail to perform their job, it puts those who share the roads with these trucks at risk.