overloading semi trucks

What the law says about overloading semi trucks

What the Law Says About Overloading Semi Trucks

Are you risking others, operations, and yourself by overloading? Learn about heavy vehicle laws, penalties, and how it’s avoided in this guide.

A surefire way to get a semi-truck into an accident is to overload the trailer. Overloading trucks can cause many serious issues, but the potential for accidents and loss of profit are among the top risks.

The use of accurate weighbridges can alleviate the risk of dangerous overloading and the legal penalties you may incur if caught with an overloaded trailer. The law has limits about truck overloading, but how can you be sure you are complying? Measuring with weighbridges is an essential step to comply with legal and safety restrictions.

Dangers of Overloading

Semi-trucks are a marvel of modern engineering. Designed to handle a specific weight of the load. When carrying this weight or under, they are a safe and efficient way to transport goods.

However, exceeding this weight comes with high costs. One of the most basic is the actual cost of excess wear on the vehicle. When the weight exceeds ratings, pressure and strain can impact parts across the entire truck.

This will be noticeable first and foremost in the brakes. Not only will these experience wear, they will simply not work as well. Extra weight can increase the distance it takes a truck to stop. If the driver does not account for this or must stop quickly, both the driver and other vehicles on the road are in danger.

Axle overloading is also an issue that takes experience to spot. This occurs when too much weight rests over one axle. This can be difficult to spot as the overall weight may be less than the mass limit. To avoid damage to the tires and the suspension, weigh at each axle.

Overloading may also cause the driver to be unaware of the actual weight in the trailer. This can lead to bridge or road collapse in weight-restricted areas, endangering everyone in the surrounding area as well as losing the shipment of goods.

Truck Overloading Legislation

Truck overloading legislation is in place to avoid these unfortunate incidences of danger to other drivers on the road and semi-truck drivers themselves.

Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law in New South Wales, penalties may accrue for violating mass limits. A mass overload offense results in either a penalty notice or a court attendance notice.

Determining responsibility for overloading can become a bit complicated, with everyone from the driver and their employer to the manager overseeing loading potentially at fault.

It takes a team to ascertain safety. Therefore an entire team could be found at fault should a truck incur a mass overload offense. This is particularly true if an accident is caused due to the overloading.

Penalties and Consequences of Overloading

Mass overload offenses result in a range of fines for minor, substantial, and severe risks.

Minor risk is under 105% of the mass limit or under 0.5 tons. Substantial risk rests between 105% and 120% of the mass limit. Those who exceed 120% of the mass limit for a vehicle face a fine at the severe risk level. Fines increase with additional percentage points over 120%.

Fines cannot exceed $22,000. However, the sharp increase from minor to severe should be a deterrent for anyone looking to remain on the road and in business.

If the mass overload offense occurs in connection with an accident and damage to personal or public property, further criminal or civil charges may be brought in connection to the incident of overloading.

Buying a Weighbridge from Weigh More Solutions

Weigh More Solutions is your New South Wales weighbridge supplier. With many options available to meet the needs for your company, you can be sure to meet your vehicle mass limit and avoid penalties for overloading your semi-truck.

Weighbridges make it possible to accurately check the mass limit of the vehicle at the point of loading. This results in safer transport from the moment the semi-truck leaves the lot.

We provide after-market service contracts as well upon arrangement. Our bridges are National Measurement Institute approved. With Digital Technology onboard, you get accurate readings and records from these weighbridges.


Our steel weighbridges come as modular pieces. These are one of the easiest options to transport and assemble at the location of weighing. The AWS106-s/108-s is installed into the road over a pit.

If vehicles are longer than the weighbridge or individual axle weight is required, the steel weighbridge can weigh in segments. Modules are available to assemble a weighbridge up to 50 meters long, or a custom length with extra modules.


Our concrete weighbridge models AWS106/AWS108 can be made up to 56 meters long and 4 meters wide. If needed, custom sizing is available. These permanent solutions make a designated space for weigh-ins.

We oversee all aspects of getting the bridge in place from consulting to supplying. Each bridge comes with a gatehouse, software, and weighbridge auditing technology.


Double-check the mass limit on the way out of the lot with an AWS110 Weigh In-motion Weighbridge. When approached at the correct speed, this in-road weighbridge captures the weight of the truck passing over it. This is one more addition to your chain of responsibility to create records of correct use.


If you need a temporary weighbridge at a remote job site, Weigh More Solutions portable modular steel can be set up in two days. The AWS106-S Portable Modular Steel Weighbridge can be constructed up to 65 meters long or a custom measurement.

Similarly, the ARLX Portable Axle Weighbridge is a compact design that goes where you need it. It can be constructed to 32 meters. Get an accurate reading of weight at each axle with our cloud-based dashboard recordings. Manage from the main office as needed.

Meet Mass Limits with a New Weighbridge

Never wonder again if your fleet of semi-trucks is exceeding a heavy vehicle law. With your new weighbridge from Weigh More Solutions, you can feel confident in avoiding overloading. Options exist to fit every site, including custom solutions.

Call 1300 366 131 today to reach 24/7 customer support with Weigh More Solutions or fill out our online form to get a quote.