The axle load: 8 facts you need to consider

13. Januar 2021 um 11:11

Axle loadWhat is the axle load and what do you need to know? We have summarized the most important information for you and give you a brief overview. Of course, this most important information also include a few tips on driving with a trailer and to what extent the axle load can influence the behaviour of your car/trailer combinationwhen driving.

  1. The axle load is defined as the load that presses on the axle of the vehicle. It is transmitted from the wheels of an axle to the road.
  2. It can basically be calculated simply as follows: The curb weight plus payload, i.e. the actual mass, is divided by the number of axles and then gives the value of the axle load. This is given in tons, all axles should always be evenly loaded.
  3. If your trailer only has one axle, this also means, conversely, that the load is then partly on the trailer coupling and must be carried there as a vertical load.
  4. For your journey with the trailer, you have to comply with the permissible axle load as well as the permissible total weight of the vehicle and the trailer.
  5. A distinction is made between technical and legally permissible axle loads. The former is always related to a specified vehicle and defined in the vehicle documents. You can find it under point 7 in your registration certificate. The legally permissible load for the axle is then specified under point 8. In old vehicle registration documents, only the legally permissible value is usually specified; if both values ​​are specified, the lower value is decisive.
  6. The axle load is binding and must not be exceeded. It is the decisive value if, for example, a possible overload should be checked during a traffic control.
  7. In order to avoid a broken axle, you should always keep a close eye on the load and avoid an overload. On the other hand, you should always load the cargo evenly, this prevents breakage. You can read how the correct loading works in our article.
  8. In addition to the values ​​recorded in the vehicle registration document, there are also statutory provisions for the maximum axle load. This is §34 of the German StVZO. The values ​​given there apply to all trailers with rubber or pneumatic tires. For motor vehicles and trailers with pneumatic tires, the load is set to the following values ​​(for further information see §34 StVZO):
    • load for single axles: 10 t
    • Load with driven single axles: 11.5 t
    • Load with a double axle and a center distance less than 1.0 meter: 11.5 t
    • Load with double axle and a distance of 1.0 to 1.3 meters: 16 t
    • Load with double axle and a distance of 1.3 to 1.8 meters: 18 t

Schedule of penalties | Overloads when driving the trailer

19. Juli 2020 um 10:00

Loading the trailer properly is not that easy. There are a number of things to pay attention to, for example the correct distribution of the load and securing play a major role. Above all, the weight of the load is important, it not only has to be distributed correctly to enable the trailer to travel as smoothly as possible. The permissible total weight of the car/trailer combination must not be exceeded, which of course is also influenced by the payload. The permissible total weight of the train results from the permissible trailer load, the permissible total weight of the vehicle and the unladen weight of the towing vehicle and must not exceed the values ​​in the vehicle registration document.

Overloading the trailer

While overloading cars (PGM up to 7.5 tons) or trailers (CGM up to 2 tons) of over 5% only results in a fine of € 10, with 30% overloading it is already € 235 and one point on one’s driver’s licence. If you are traveling with a truck and trailer, the penalties are higher. In any case, fines and, if necessary, points are also due for the vehicle owner. So if you borrow a car/trailer combination and are caught with an overload, the owner of the combination will also be asked to checkout. The penalties for the keeper are higher, so if the overload is more than 5%, the keeper must already pay € 140 and expect a point.

You must also always pay attention to the vertical load when loading. The vertical load is defined as the load that the trailer coupling is subjected to from above. The vertical load is specified for both your vehicle and the towbar. It is often the case that the two values ​​are different. In this case, the lower value applies and must be observed. If the permissible drawbar load is exceeded, a fine of € 25 must be payed if it is exceeded by up to 50%. If more than 50 % are exceeded, € 60 are due, in addition you have to count on a point on your licence. This offense also has an impact on the vehicle owner.

Below you will find the differentiation for fines and penalties that may arise when overloading your car/trailer combination.

Overloading cars / trucks (PGI up to 7.5 tons) or trailers (PGI up to 2 tons)

  • by over 5%: € 10
  • by over 10%: € 30
  • by over 15%: € 35
  • by over 20%: € 95, 1 point
  • by over 25%: 140 €, 1 point
  • by over 30%: € 235, 1 point

Overloading trucks or trailers (ZGG over 2 tons)

  • by 2-5%: € 30
  • by over 5%: € 80, 1 point
  • by over 10%: 110 €, 1 point
  • by over 15%: 140 €, 1 point
  • by over 20%: € 190, 1 point
  • by over 25%: € 285, 1 point
  • by over 30%: € 380, 1 point

Vehicle owner: Overloading trucks or trailers (zGG over 2 tons)

  • by 2-5%: € 35
  • by over 5%: 140 €, 1 point
  • by over 10%: € 235, 1 point
  • by over 15%: € 285, 1 point
  • by over 20%: € 389, 1 point
  • by over 25%: € 425, 1 point
  • by over 30%: € 425, 1 point

Drawbar load exceeded

  • by up to 50%: € 25
  • by more than 50%: € 60, 1 point
  • Permissible drawbar load not indicated by sign: € 5

You can find more information on the website of the German schedule of penalties.

Safe loading for the drive with trailer

11. Oktober 2018 um 10:02

LoadingBefore driving with the trailer, it is important to also deal with the cargo. Finally, this can affect the driving behavior of the trailer. If you’ve gone through the checklist, you’ll also be dealing with the cargo and loading it within the trailer. Maybe you have already loaded the trailer, but maybe you also have to accommodate some parts. It is important to be clear about a few points. The center of gravity of the trailer is usually centered, slightly ahead of the axle. It is important when loading not only to know where the center of gravity is, but also to plan it when distributing the load. Above all, you should pay attention to distribute the load evenly at the center of gravity and around the center of gravity. Better you load the goods a little further forward than too far behind. If you overload the rear part, there will be a negative vertical load, which can cause the team to skid during the ride.

In addition, you should make sure that large, heavy cargo pieces are stored as far down the ground as possible. A lying cabinet is easier to transport than a standing, finally, this cabinet springs from movements and can move its own focus unintentionally, for example, when driving around a curve. On the other hand, if the cabinet is transported horizontally, the center of gravity of the cabinet is also significantly lower, significantly reducing the handling of the trailer and the entire yoke. It is also important that you always secure your cargo well. Lashing straps and nets are a good way to secure loads, and in the worst case, even the smallest of loads can become dangerous missiles. Even cartons with books in a move are heavy and can adversely affect the trailer, so you should load them in the trailer safely so that the range of motion is limited, in case of doubt, it is best to use safety straps.