One great policy rolled out and being enforced in the country recently is the axle weight load policy its main aim is to limit the amount of cargo loaded onto a truck to a maximum load limit. This policy among other things is meant to safeguard our roads from early deterioration and also prevent accidents.
The current allowable load limit in Ghana is 60 tones even though authorities say they are working gradually to achieve a 51 tonne maximum load limit in the very near future. The strict implementation of this policy has therefore made it very necessary for haulage and transport operators as well as the general public to fully understand and adhere to this policy in order to ensure its effective implementation.
Usually the gross weight of the empty truck and trailer in addition to the gross weight of the cargo should not exceed the allowable load limit of 60 tonnes. There are weighing bridges along the port area that can help you know the gross weight of your truck and trailer.
It must be noted that, even though the maximum allowable load limit is 60 tonnes not every truck can load up to 60 tonnes. The weight of cargo a truck loads is relative to the gross weight of the empty truck and more importantly the number of axles of the truck. This is because ideally the total weight of the cargo a truck carry’s is spread along the number of axles on which the load is carried. Therefore the more axles a vehicle has the more weight it could carry.
In practice, a single vehicle with 4 axles would have more weight distributed along its axles than a single truck with 3 axles. with regards the 4 axles vehicle, the front axle thus the truck(head) can carry a weight of 7.5 tonnes the rest of the 3 back axles thus under the trailer can take a combined weight of 30.0T such a truck can therefore carry a total weight of 37.5T while the 3 axles single truck can carry 7.5T and 23.0T on its front and back axles respectively bringing it to a total of 30.5T.
Mention must also be made of the fact that an articulator truck is different from a single truck and are both grouped under different weight categories. Whiles a single truck with 4 axles can take a maximum of 37.5T of cargo, an articulator with the same number of axles can carry up to 44T of cargo. Its therefore important to know the exact type of vehicle being used for the operation. Compare to the table below to make your calculations.
One major problem however with this calculations is that some drivers and truck owners being perfectly aware that the weight of the vehicle in addition to that of the cargo must fall within the allowable limit, tend to adjust the gross weight of their empty vehicle on the weight declaration form in order to achieve a total load limit within range.
Understanding this policy is very much necessary for its effective implementation and stakeholders should do more to educate haulage operators, drivers and the public as a whole to ensure strict adherence.