A wide variety of goods are transported on Germany’s roads every day. According to the Federal Statistical Office, in 2015 alone, 4.5 billion tons of goods were loaded into trucks and transported to their respective destinations. But due to the high weight of the trucks, the infrastructure has to be adapted again and again so that goods can continue to be transported. The roads are often damaged by the high load, so regular maintenance and close-meshed repairs are necessary. However, since these can quickly become very costly, there are several rules to help keep the damage as minimal as possible. In addition, the regulation on overloading is intended to increase traffic safety, which plays a significant role especially in the case of hazardous goods.

Dangers of overloading

The ordinance on overloading ensures that the total permissible weight of trucks on the roads is not exceeded. In addition to damaging roads, overloaded trucks also pose a high safety risk. Therefore, high fines result from overloading. Overloading can cause irregular distribution and therefore irregular loading of the various axes. As a result, trucks can start to lurch very quickly. This puts not only other road users but also the driver in danger. In the event of emergency braking, the load is thrown through the vehicle interior, which can lead to distraction in the current traffic situation or injury of the vehicle occupants. Exceeding the maximum permissible weight can also place a high load on the tires, causing the tire tread to wear more quickly and making it impossible to ensure a firm grip on the road. This case also poses a risk to traffic safety. Anyone who takes such a risk and is found out by the police will be temporarily banned from driving until the load has been reduced to regulation levels. In addition, various sanctions follow.

Sanctions and fines

In Germany, it is initially the driver and not the owner of the vehicle who is prosecuted for administrative offenses. In case of overloading, however, a fine notice follows not only for the driver but also for the company. In addition, a point in Flensburg has to be expected. Fines for overloading and incorrect load securing can amount to up to 425 euros for the owner of the vehicle if an overload of 25 percent above the permitted total weight is reached. Points in Flensburg are also imposed on vehicle owners who do not hold a driver’s license themselves. So if one wants to protect oneself from expensive penalties, one should inform oneself in advance on the subject of overloading and avoid offenses.

For more information on the carriage of goods, see CMR: the consignment note.

Alternatives to trucks on roads can be found in the study: Trucks on rails – ELANS, the AutoRail of the future?

Image source © TheMuuj, license (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Also available in Deutsch (German)