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Are you overloading your ute?

Isuzu Australia has done tradies and business people a great service by putting together a webinar, "Is Your Load Killing Your Ute" highlighting the dangers of overloading utes, and it's well worth watching.

According to Isuzu's Simon Humphries many business owners are blissfully unaware of how easy it is to overload their utes. It's a common practice that puts drivers at risk and damages vehicles long term while increasing the likelihood of copping some pretty heavy penalties.

“Staging this webinar gave us an insight into how pervasive this problem is on Australian roads,” Mr Humphries said.

“Many drivers don’t know how much their vehicle has been engineered to carry. So they were also uninformed about how running overloaded could significantly increase ute repair bills and lead to unexpected vehicle downtime, all while potentially putting the safety of themselves and other road users in jeopardy.”

He points out that overloaded utes cost businesses dearly in excessive fuel use, and repair costs while affecting the vehicle's performance on the road. And should you crash that overloaded ute your insurance company won't be looking on your claim too kindly. In fact it's grounds for rejecting it.

It's all-too-easy to overload a ute and many people do it unwittingly. While many drivers are aware of their vehicle's payload they forget about all that extra weight in the form of the tools, extra passengers, parts and equipment they're also lugging around.

Isuzu point out some of the key weight considerations that need to be managed:

  • Individual axle loads
  • Front/rear bias
  • Front/rear bias
  • Accessories such as bullbars, winches, side steps and towbars
  • Modifications including trays, toolboxes, storage boxes, ladder/service racks and canopies
  • Installation of accessories including cranes, generators, compressors, dual batteries, invertors, specialist equipment, tools and parts
  • Cargo, water tanks, spare fuel and recovery gear

Nor is weight the only consideration when loading a ute. You also need to take into account the load's dimensions and whether it's projecting out of the vehicle. You can't just hang stuff out of the back of your ute with joyous abandon – it's a hazard to other road users.

Each state has overhang limits that must be complied with:

If overloading your ute or utes is a constant temptation then perhaps it's time you upgraded to a bigger vehicle that will take the sort of loads your business is dealing with. Contact Fleetcare today on 134 333 to see how you can upgrade your existing vehicle fleet with a finance or leasing package that perfectly suits your business needs.

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