Overview of Load


In transportation, the term “load” refers to the goods, cargo, or passengers being carried by a vehicle or vessel. It represents the weight or volume of the items being transported. Proper measurement and adherence to rules and restrictions regarding load are essential for safety, efficiency, and compliance with regulations.

Load Measurement


Load weight is typically measured using weighing scales, such as platform scales or weighbridges. It is important to accurately determine the weight to ensure compliance with weight limits and to maintain balance and stability during transportation.


In certain cases, load measurement involves determining the volume of the cargo, especially for bulk goods that occupy space rather than being weighed. It can be measured using various methods, like cubic meters, cubic feet, or other appropriate units.

Load Limits and Regulations:

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):

It is the maximum allowable weight of a fully loaded vehicle, including its own weight, cargo, passengers, and fuel. The GVWR is determined by the manufacturer and is displayed on the vehicle’s identification plate or documentation.

Axle Load Limits:

Axle load limits specify the maximum weight that can be placed on each axle of a vehicle. These limits prevent excessive stress on the vehicle’s suspension, tires, and road infrastructure. They vary depending on the vehicle type, number of axles, and road regulations in different jurisdictions.

Bridge Formula:

The Bridge Formula is a regulation in the United States that determines the maximum allowable weight on each axle and axle group based on the axle spacing. It ensures that the load is distributed evenly to prevent damage to bridges and roadways.

Legal Load Limits:

Different countries and regions have legal load limits that restrict the weight or dimensions of a load. These limits may vary for different types of roads, seasons, and vehicle configurations. Violating legal load limits can result in penalties and fines.

Learn about the truck overloading rules in India to know further.

Load Securement and Safety:

Proper load securement:

Loads must be properly secured to prevent shifting, falling, or causing imbalances during transportation. This includes using appropriate restraints such as straps, chains, or load bars, as well as proper packing and distribution of the cargo within the vehicle.

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Center of gravity:

Distributing the load evenly and keeping the center of gravity low helps maintain stability and maneuverability. Shifting the center of gravity too high or too far forward or backward can affect vehicle handling and increase the risk of accidents.

Hazardous materials:

Special rules and regulations govern the transportation of hazardous materials. These regulations define specific requirements for packaging, labeling, placarding, and handling of dangerous goods to ensure the safety of the vehicle, its occupants, and the environment.


Imagine a delivery truck transporting pallets of goods from a warehouse to a retail store. The load in this scenario represents the weight and volume of the items being carried by the truck. The truck driver carefully loads the pallets onto the vehicle, ensuring they are securely strapped and positioned to maintain stability during transit.

The load’s weight is accurately measured using a weighbridge to ensure it does not exceed the truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or any legal load limits. Additionally, the driver considers the load’s center of gravity, distributing the weight evenly to maintain balance and prevent accidents.

By adhering to load regulations and securing the cargo properly, the driver ensures a safe and efficient transportation process, allowing the goods to reach their destination intact and on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the maximum weight allowed for a commercial truck?

    The maximum weight allowed for a commercial truck is determined by its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which includes the weight of the truck, cargo, passengers, and fuel.

  2. How is load weight measured in transportation?

    Load weight is typically measured using weighing scales such as platform scales or weighbridges.

  3. What are the consequences of exceeding legal load limits?

    Exceeding legal load limits can result in penalties, fines, and possible vehicle impoundment. It can also lead to safety hazards, damage to roads or bridges, and increased wear and tear on the vehicle.