Just in time delivery changed the North American transportation system, putting pressure on operators and their vehicles to increase efficiency, and sometimes volume of materials delivered at a time. The immediate result was more accidents and dumped loads as the industry and regulators got a better handle on goods transport. A big part of that were inspections but, equally, a better understanding of load distribution per axle on trucks and trailers. This is determined by the vehicle’s or trailer’s gross axle weight rating.
According to the Ford Motor Company, a vehicle’s gross axle weight rating, or GAWR, is the specific weight determined by the manufacturer to be the maximum allowable weight that can be placed on an individual axle. Front and rear axles have individual gross axle weight ratings. A vehicle’s axles should never be loaded beyond the manufacturer’s listed GAWR.
Alberta Transportation’s Weight and Dimensions Regulations provides information for the trucking industry about the weight and dimension regulations in Alberta. Legal weights and dimensions are needed to balance the capacity and geometric capabilities of the vehicle’s infrastructure with maximum economic benefits while ensuring road safety. These provincial regulations concerning legal weights and dimensions in the trucking industry are available for purchase in paper and electronic format through the Alberta Queen’s Printer Bookstore under the Traffic Safety Act and the Motor Vehicle Registration Act.
Why Is Adhering to Regulations for Axle Weights Important?
Safety is the primary reason for manufacturers to place a limit on how much weight each axle can carry. Overloading a vehicle of any kind – including a trailer – is dangerous. Heavy loads are always difficult to control on the road, but if that heavy load is unevenly distributed between the axles or even overloaded on one side of an axle, the problem will only be magnified including:
The vehicle’s brake system will not be as effective;
Rear tires may not be able to handle the extra weight, potentially causing a blowout; and
Overloaded and overstressed components within the vehicle’s rear suspension system could bend or even break, causing you to lose control on the road.
Additionally, there are several rules for safe towing and hauling including:
Ensuring the gross average weight never surpasses the GAWR on any vehicle;
Balancing your load, keeping it as close to the cab as possible so the frame will distribute the load to both axles, simple physics;
Taking your time when fully loaded – braking will take you longer to stop, driving faster makes that distance even longer, and turning too fast can cause the load to shift which can mean a lost load or a rolled truck or trailer; and,
Securing your load.
Contact Accurate/Western Scales Co. Ltd. for Axle Weighing Scales in Calgary When axle weight distribution is essential to your business and the safety of your operators, Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd. has the easy to install and maintain axle scales you need. Scales are offered in permanent and portable designs. For purchases, maintenance needs, or questions about your industrial and professional scales needs call us at 403-250-3232 today.