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What constitutes overloading for a commercial truck?

Overloaded trucks cause some of the most dangerous situations on the roads. If you've ever seen a truck overturned, overloading could have been the problem. The same is true if you see a load that has come detached, falling on the road behind the vehicle. With heavy loads, these trucks can't stop quickly, turn easily or travel with much speed even when under the limits. Overloaded trucks pose a different issue, because they are more likely to be involved in an accident due to a load that breaks free from its restraints, problems controlling the vehicle and other issues. If overloading is found to be the reason for a collision, the victim may be in a position to file claims against the driver as well as the driver's company for the dangers the truck posed.

Overloading a truck is a violation of state and federal regulations, which can get truck companies in serious trouble with the law. It's unsafe to operate these vehicles when overloaded, because they can easily tip over or drop the load on the road, crushing or injuring other drivers and their passengers.

Trucks are limited in how much weight they can carry. The Gross Combination Weight Rating, Gross Axle Weight Rating, maximum trailing weight rating, highway weight ratings and truck registration rating are all limits that must be followed. None of the weights can be surpassed, since this can cause damage to the vehicle and make it unsafe to drive.

Some kinds of trucks are exempt from weight restrictions, like those that carry snow or ice control equipment or those working as emergency vehicles, but others must be careful not to break the laws surrounding these weight limits.

Source: The Association for the Work Truck Industry, "Are Your Trucks Overloaded?," accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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