According to the DVSA, 8 out of 10 vans (LCV’s), Minibuses & Welfare Accessible Vehicles (WAV) are overloaded. This means that they are potentially unsafe, are running illegally and, in the event of an accident, are likely to be uninsured. The ramifications of overloading upon Fleet Managers could be very costly indeed.
Figures published by the DVSA every year are showing an annual rise in instances of vehicle overload, and the Enforcement officers have become very adept at spotting offenders.
Allied to the advent of 20 or more ‘Weigh-in-Motion’ sensors in the UK road network, means that it is only a matter of time before your overloaded vehicle is stopped and checked.
The FTA has calculated that there could be as many as 1.65 million unroadworthy vans in operation with DVSA figures revealing a 49.7% firsttime MOT failure rate, notably due to tyre and light failures; and 88.5% of almost 11,000 vans stopped at the roadside annually being overloaded and 63% having serious mechanical defects.
Fleet operators must become more professional. The benefits of best practice operation are huge: reduced risk, reduced cost and improved driver relations. Fleet operators must recognise the role drivers play and the risks they are exposed to. There is still a lot of ignorance amongst vehicle owner/operators concerning vehicle weight limits, towing allowances and driver licence restrictions.
However, ignorance is no defence when you’re stopped and checked for a vehicle safety issue and, as much as DVSA are on a clamp down of illegal vehicles, operators must take on this responsibility.
SvTech recommend that all operators/drivers check their vehicle VIN plate or Plating certificate to ascertain what the correct operating weights are.
It is imperative for fleet managers to be aware that an overloaded 3500kg van driven by someone who got their licence after Jan 1st 1997, would not only be an overloading offence but also a Licence offence which carries a 6-point penalty and a large fine.
SvTech has been helping fleet operators with their payload issues for over 25 years. We have seen virtually every overloading scenario. Don’t become a statistic – check your vehicle weights and talk to the uprating experts to discuss any issues.
SvTech is the UK’s leading authority on Uprating, downplating and payload issues. Established in 1993, they have worked with manufacturers, dealers and converters alike to provide the most comprehensive re-rating service in the country.
Tel: 01772 621800