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A poorly loaded vehicle is unsafe to drive. To avoid loss of steering and loss of traction under power, you should: A poorly loaded vehicle is unsafe to drive. To avoid loss of steering and loss of traction under power, you should:

  • A. Spread the load close to the centre line of the vehicle.

  • B. Load heavy items to one side.

  • C. Stack the lighter things at the bottom.

  •  
    The correct answer is A
     
    Correct. Keeping the load close to the centre line keeps the vehicle balanced.
     
 
 
 

Loading a vehicle with even weight distribution

If the load is stacked on one side then more weight is distributed on one side of the vehicle and that means less pressure on the tyres on the other side of the vehicle. On a slippery hill this means that one side of the vehicle will wheelspin more easily which could lead to a loss of momentum.

Under braking it means that one side of the truck will lock the wheels more easily.

Around corners, though, is where the bigger problems can occur. The truck will already have some lean due to the forces on one side, and turning a corner in the opposite direction of the load puts you at greater risk of rolling over.

Over bumpy and uneven surfaces an unbalanced load can cause the truck to move around more, and can cause problems with the suspension, or can cause the chassis frame to twist, or overload the axle housings, wheel bearings and tyres.

If a load is positioned too far back, it can lift the front wheels under acceleration and make steering much less effective. If a load is positioned with too much weight too far forward it can overload the front axles.

Loads that are not restrained properly cause additional danger because the loads move and then that motion can further destabilise the vehicle in corners and while braking and accelerating. There are different types of restraints for different types of loads, including straps, webbing, chains, baffled containers, tarpaulins, blocking, and more.