February 17, 2023
10 records for overloaded vehicles in Europe
Modern transport vehicles can carry very heavy loads. However, such a demonstration of power comes with great danger, where a high fine is the mildest measure of harm. We present the European record-breakers who checked what their cars can do regardless of the law and road safety.
1. A bridge too far
The consequences of not complying with the law can be tragic. The French carrier decided to overload his vehicle by twice and, with a weight of more than 50 tonnes, drove it onto a suspension bridge in Mirepoix-sur-Tarn. It should be added that the maximum load capacity of this bridge was 19 tonnes. The structure almost completely collapsed. Two people died in the accident.
2. Fast and heavy
Another ‘strongman’ turned out to be a carrier undertaking container loading. The vehicle was overloaded by ‘average’ 28 tonnes and weighed 68 tonnes. In this case, the axle load of the vehicle was also too high. The record, however, is the speed at which the Polish driver was travelling. The tachograph indicated that he had covered a distance of 250 km in two minutes, for which he received a medal worth PLN 2,500. The carrier was fined PLN 30,000. Congratulations.
3. British rules
In Britain carriers do not compete for European records, whereas the police take the matter seriously. A vehicle weighing 73 tonnes was stopped on the M4 motorway. The overload was ‘just’ 13 tonnes, yet, as the report states, ‘many lives were at risk’. Furthermore, the truck operator falsified his working time. The vehicle was seized and the driver was brought to court. His fate is unknown, but a fine of at least £300 had to be paid.
4. Record-breaking Iveco Daily
Anyone who spends some time on road transport groups has certainly come across stories about the capabilities of this vehicle. With a weight of up to 3.5 tonnes, it is probably the most overloaded vehicle in Europe.
The record holder was a Romanian carrier whose vehicle was weighed in Poland. According to the documents, its load capacity was 390 kg. In contrast, the total weight indicated 12 tonnes and 300 kilograms. The load included cauliflowers and bananas, which cost the carrier an extra few hundred zloty.
5. German technology
Iveco Daily is not the only one capable of flexing its muscles. 9 Volkswagen LTs carrying sheet metal were stopped in Medyka. The documentation stated that the maximum load for the vehicles was, obviously, 3.5 tonnes. The German cars demonstrated a record-breaking performance. One of them weighed 14 tonnes. Each driver received a fine of up to PLN 1,500.
6. Maybe not the worst but only as such
The three-axle Foton Auman ETX-N is a rear-mounted dump truck made in China with a maximum GVW of 25 tonnes. The measurement was made on test equipment in Ukraine, so the carrier did not receive a fine. This did not happen despite the fact that the truck carrying aggregate weighed 56.3 tonnes. And more interestingly, the manufacturer claims that this model has a GVW of 62 tonnes. Bold and illegal. At least on European roads.
7. Hard times for catering in Germany
The problem of overloaded vehicles has affected the whole world, but no one would have expected it to hit a restaurant. Its owner is said to have shocked the police. The vehicle with railway sleepers he was driving was stopped on the road to Hamburg. Once directed to the scales, the truck turned out to weigh 22 tonnes too much. It’s not a European record, but the tips won’t quickly pay the restaurateur’s fine. The truck was seized.
8. Illegal soya
A Spanish driver knew that what he was doing was far from a properly executed transport. He deliberately chose alternative routes to bypass the controls. However, he was not successful, as his vehicle was spotted driving on the dirt road. The driver was inspected by the police. It turned out that he did not have sufficient documentation for the soya beans being transported. The truck with its load weighed 75 tonnes. That’s a lot, but far from the record.
9. Absolute champion
Although in Europe fines for overloaded trucks are issued every day, our eastern neighbours can allow themselves more. We suspect that Indian vehicles weigh the most, but some incredible figures could also be found in Ukraine.
130 kilometres from Lviv, a vehicle weighed… 202 tonnes. In this case, the overload reached 162 tonnes. That seems to be the world record.
10. I can handle it!
The last hero is a Pole carrying out transport in Norway. The driver was a ‘victim’ of an inspection of 20 trucks, 11 of which were overloaded. Although he may not have set a record, since his vehicle was “only” 3.5 tonnes heavier, the driver still surprised the Norwegian police officers by literally taking matters into his own hands. His vehicle was seized until the unnecessary kilos were unloaded. The Polish driver did not wait long before manually moving the 3.5 tonnes to another truck and driving off. The fine totalled around €400.