Overload your van at your peril

May 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Research conducted recently indicates that over 50 percent of vans operating in the UK carry beyond acceptable weight limits. Also, according to the DVSA, which stops vans and inspects whether they comply with the law and carry acceptable weight limits, it was shocking to realize that 93 percent of the vans were overloaded. It is, therefore, imperative for van owners and drivers to know the implications that come with overloading vans.

What is overloading?

Each van has a gross vehicle weight (GVW). This includes the weight of the vehicle, driver and any passengers on board. Kerb weight is the weight of the vehicle only without the driver but with a full tank of petrol.

This weight is usually clearly noted in any vans' handbook. The payload of the van is simply the difference between the two weights. The payload is the maximum load by weight you are permitted to carry by law.

Why you should not overload your van

Overloading your van can turn out to be an expensive affair. Overloading has far-reached legal and economic implications. The following are the consequences of overloading your van:

Effect to the van

The authorities in certain situations may immobilize your van; this will certainly disrupt your journey and cause delays. This is done by attaching a chain on the wheels to prevent it from moving. To release the van, you have to release the excess load and pay a fine of £80.

Effect to the driver

Drivers found to be overloading their vans are not spared either, the driver risks to have his driving license terminated. Consequently, he may not be allowed to drive any vehicle. However, depending on the extent to which the driver has overloaded, it may attract court sermons.

The driver can be charged with dangerous driving which attracts a prison sentence.

Penalties to the owner/driver

Overloading your van makes you pay hefty fines that are imposed by the police and the Vehicle Operator Service Agencies. When you are caught with an overloaded van, the police will impose fines and penalties. The extent of the penalty depends on the magnitude of the overloading. The authorities, however, are soft for overloads below five percent.

Currently, the stipulated fines are as follows: for overloads ranging from five to ten percent, a penalty of £100 is charged.

For penalties between 10 to 15 percent, a penalty of £200 is charged. Penalties between 25 to 30 percent attract a penalty of £300. Those exceeding 30 percent of their payload will be treated to have grossly violated the law hence will be summoned to court to face charges.

If the court finds you guilty of the offence, you will be required to pay a fine of £500. However, if proven that you had overloaded your van in a manner that was dangerous to your passengers or other road users, the court will find you guilty of dangerous driving.

This is a serious criminal offence in the UK that attracts a prison sentence. So if you are thinking of overloading think twice!

Overload your van at your peril


Tags: Van Overload
Category: Advice

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