There are four steps you can take to avoid overloading: 1. Select a Different Vehicle.
You may not need a larger vehicle to carry your desired payload, just a different vehicle. A cargo van may not be the best for your needs; you might do better with a pickup truck with a topper combination and pull-out shelving system, which can haul more weight. 2. Don’t Carry Unnecessary Items.
One way to avoid overloading a vehicle is to eliminate unnecessary equipment or shelving. Modify storage bin units to fit your needs. Clean out the unnecessary items. Carry only those items that you know you will need. If given an opportunity, drivers will carry everything they can conceivably fit into a vehicle.
3. Smarter Routing.
Schedule pick-ups to correspond to drop-offs. If applicable, employ a hub and spoke distribution system using a centralized hub vehicle, such as a large stepvan, rather than driving to a centralized warehouse. A large telecommunications fleet in Southern California, which is using smaller vehicles to make shorter trips to a hub vehicle, has adopted this approach.
4. Train Drivers on Proper Load
Distribution. Design loading areas that force workers to position freight correctly. Schedule the routes so that freight is positioned for weight distribution and not in the interest of delivery time. It is also important to train drivers on proper loading techniques so they don't create an unsafe situation. During the training process, don't forget to train forklift operators on proper freight distribution. Investigate Firsthand
One of the best ways to determine if your vehicles are being overloaded is to go into the field and assess vehicle usage. There are several ways to determine overloading: a sagging rear-end, irregular tire wear, premature brake wear, and loose unresponsive suspension and steering. Drivers can be requesting the wrong vehicle for the application, and all the while the fleet manager thinks everything is fine. If you're purchasing a vehicle and aren't sure of the application, you can always check with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to ensure the vehicle you're considering is compliant with FMVSS safety regulations. Overloading creates an unsafe vehicle and increases liability exposure in the event of an accident. Consider the following:
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet