Management of Truck Loading Weight: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Traffic accidents involving heavy trucks have social and economic effects on society. However, little research has focused on the influence of heavy truck specifications such as weight. Apportioning the maximum permissible gross weight of trucks allows trucking companies/owners to consolidate loads, and therefore reduce the vehicle-kilometres required to collect and distribute a given amount of goods/material. While drivers/managers are responsible for ensuring that trucks are loaded appropriately and in compliance with regulations, some may take chances and overload vehicles. This increases the need for formal and documented inspections, in order to reduce traffic hazards on public roads due to overweight loading. According to a New South Wales Centre for Road Safety report in 2014, crashes involving heavy trucks often result in serious road trauma outcomes. When a heavy truck is involved in a crash, the vehicle mass raises the crash forces involved and hence increases the severity of the crash. Therefore, interventions should be established to mitigate or prevent these crashes from occurring. Currently, weight checks are required for trucks and truck drivers must drive to a weighbridge for a weight check. Since this is a random process, truck drivers may take the risk of driving an over-loaded truck on some occasions. This paper reviews existing studies concerning safe system interventions in relation to truck gross weight management and a framework is presented to effectively manage truck loading weight. The result may be a reduction of injuries and fatalities involving heavy trucks.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.