5.4 – Checklist – Position your load to maintain Vehicle Stability, Steering and Braking

The position of a load has a significant impact on the vehicle’s stability, particularly its rollover stability. Rollover stability is very sensitive to the centre of gravity of the vehicle. Rollover stability increases by lowering the centre of gravity.

There are some principles outlined in the LRG

  • Keep the centre of gravity low and close to the vehicle’s centreline.
  • Load heavy objects first, and do not offset them to one side of the vehicle.

Unbalanced load
  • Check your rollover stability.
    • See Lesson 3.1
  • Spread the load evenly across the deck, and share the weight between the axles.

Offset centre of gravity
  • This can be done by calculation or by direct measurement:
    • Overloading either the front or rear axle will affect the vehicle’s steering ability.
    • Uneven weight on the wheels influences the braking force of the wheels and can cause them to lock up.
  • Do not allow your load to excessively project from the vehicle.
    • Loads which project from the front or sides of the vehicle could cause danger to other road users or damage to property.
  • Face dangerous projections away from the driver.
  • Understand the legal mass and dimension requirements of your vehicle. See lessons 3.1 -3.3 and NHVR mass and dimension requirements.
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