Nearly one in every four vans are being overloaded, bringing risks to drivers and other road users, but new tech from Peugeot could help avoid this.
Analysis by Peugeot of data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) shows more than 44,000 vans have been weighed in roadside tests since 2015, with 23% found to be overloaded. Nearly one in 10 (7%) of van drivers were found to exceed their payload limit by 15% to 30%, bringing impacts on braking distances, vehicle handling and increased wear and tear on parts including suspension, brakes and tyres.
As well as the safety risks, drivers overloading vehicles face a minimum £100 Fixed Penalty Notice, rising up to £300 when exceeding the limit by more than 15%. Any driver exceeding their vehicle’s maximum payload by more than 30% faces a potential court summons.
Peugeot’s Overload Indicator can combat this. Available on the Partner, the technology warns drivers when they are within 10% of the maximum gross vehicle weight, and provides a second alert if they exceed the vehicle’s limit. Warnings display at both the rear of the van and on the i-Cockpit display to help ensure drivers are aware of the situation before driving away.
The technology has been put to the test, using a team of plumbers and a team of electricians to load a Partner van as close to its maximum payload as possible with a variety of trade materials, without setting off the Overload Indicator.
The electricians beat the plumbers, coming closest to the 983kg payload of the Peugeot Partner GRIP BlueHDi 100 S&S five-speed manual used in the challenge, by packing 917kg of goods inside – including the three-strong team.
David Peel, managing director of Peugeot UK, said: “It’s always great to put our technologies to the test and this Tradesmen Challenge was about having a bit of fun with the technology, while showcasing how easy it is to overload a van. This is both illegal and a big safety concern so this feature is hugely important.”