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Startups.co.uk, an entrepreneurial website devoted to new business owners, recently published an important piece reminding van drivers of the legal issues surrounding weight limits. As you might already know, the law restricts how much weight a van can carry based on a number of factors. Moreover, as the website points out, observing weight restrictions is a matter of both legal compliance and ultimate safety. Remember that weight is important even if you do not need a special van licence to operate your vehicle.

Startups.co.uk explains that commercial vans are subject to routine stops and inspections by police and VOSA officers. If you are caught driving an overweight vehicle, you could be severely penalised. You might even be prevented from continuing on your journey until some of the weight has been removed from your vehicle.

Legal determinations of weight are based on something known as gross vehicle weight (GVW). In order to calculate whether you are in compliance or not, you need to know your vehicle’s kerb weight – the unladen weight with a full tank of petrol and no cargo – and the GVW. You can likely find both numbers by looking in the vehicle’s manual or on a plate attached to the body near the driver’s side door.

To make sure you are in compliance then simply subtract the kerb weight from the GVW to determine how much cargo you can carry. If your van’s GVW is 2200 kg and the curb weight is 1400 kg, you could legally transport 800 kg of cargo. It’s as simple as that.

Follow the Law

We discuss vehicle weight issues as part of our van license-training programme. In fact, it is part of all our commercial driver programmes here at the HGV Training Centre. We instruct drivers in the importance of not exceeding legal weight limits as a matter of both compliance and safety.

The problem with an over weighted van is one of control. A van with too much weight is difficult to control even under ideal conditions. However, if you throw in bad weather and speed, control issues are even more severe. It is far too easy for a vehicle carrying excess weight to be involved in a tragic accident. That’s why weight limits are so important.

In addition to the safety issue is the wear and tear on the vehicle itself. A commercial van is built to withstand so much weight, and perhaps a little bit more for good measure. Continually overloading a van will damage its suspension, frame, tyres, and steering system. That costs a company money.

The HGV Training Centre will teach you everything you need to know about commercial vehicle weight limits when you take your van license training with us. If you do not need a special license for your van, the training we provide is still very valuable. It can help you understand all of the issues involved with commercial driving in a way that makes you a safer and more productive driver.

Sources:

Start-ups – https://startups.co.uk/penalties-for-overloaded-vans-what-are-the-legal-limits/

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