3 Signs of an Overloaded Truck


The trucking industry doesn’t have enough drivers to fulfill each client’s needs. To stay profitable, commercial transport companies add extra deliveries to a driver’s route. While multiple stops are legal, carrying weighty loads is not. Heavy vehicles are difficult to control, increasing the risk of trucking accidents. Knowing the signs of an overloaded tractor-trailer will help keep you safe on the road. 

How Can You Spot an Overloaded Semi-Truck? 

1. Deceleration Difficulties 

Commercial trucks are large, heavy vehicles that need special licensing to operate safely. During their training, drivers are instructed to slow down earlier to prevent trucking accidents. Under standard conditions, a big rig slowing from 55 MPH will need 6 seconds to stop completely. When the cargo exceeds allotted weight limits, tractor-trailers need more time to stop. If you see a truck braking early but taking too long to slow down, they might be carrying an overweight load. 

The mechanisms of the rig are also affected by the extra heft. They strain the vehicle’s braking system, reducing its stopping power. The trucker must also push harder to make the rig stop sooner. Even experienced drivers may not have the time or the reflexes to prevent a collision. If one occurs, the driver or the company may be held liable under a personal injury claim. 

2. Control Challenges

Trucking Accidents

Excessive weight also impacts a tractor-trailer’s steering and maneuverability. Truckers may not maintain a straight trajectory or regain control after turning or bypassing road obstacles. 

Trucks will need more speed to navigate over inclines. The driver also has to compensate for reduced stopping distance and handling capabilities. Watch for unsafe driving habits from truckers and swaying from the cab or trailer. 

3. Compressed Suspension 

The suspension mechanisms absorb the impact when driving over bumps, potholes, and rough terrain. However, an overloaded semi-truck strains its suspension. Its wheel springs become compressed, and the steel components can stretch or crack. The truck won’t have the same bounce when traveling over rugged terrain. The damaged suspension strains the tires, increasing the likelihood of a blowout. 

A damaged suspension can also cause steering issues. Truckers will experience turning difficulties. Control also decreases, making it challenging to remain in a lane, even when driving in a straight line. If a truck repeatedly lists out of its lane, the driver is likely carrying a heavy load. Give the vehicle a wide berth on the road. 


Even if a commercial vehicle is within legal weight regulations, it may still be overloaded. If you were involved in a trucking accident, reach out to Balderrama Law Firm LLC. Attorney Balderrama will investigate the issue using his 15 years of experience. He’ll determine if an overweight load or a trucker’s negligence caused your injuries. He’s also an experienced litigator who isn’t afraid to take your case to state or federal court to help you receive a positive outcome. For more information on his practice areas, visit his website. To schedule a free case evaluation at his Carlsbad, NM, office, call him at (575) 234-1111. 


(505) 900-3834


(575) 433-2384


7401 Hancock Ct. NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87109


(575) 234-1111


(575) 885-6788


706 N. Canal Street Carlsbad, NM 88220