Letters to the editor

Copyright 2001 FleetWatch magazine and FleetWatch On-Line.

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Past Issues
April 2001

AXLE LOAD REGULATIONS

Heavy vehicles travelling from origin to destination make use of the public road network, making it necessary for legal load limitations to be imposed in order to protect our roads from the excessive damage caused by heavy loads.

Besides the load limitations based on the engine power of the vehicle and limitations specified by the vehicle and tyre manufacturers, two additional loading factors are controlled by legislation:

  • the damage or wear caused by an axle load to the road
  • and the load concentration applied by a group of axles or axle units to bridge structures.

Although SAs axle load regulations compare favourably with most other countries, there are slight variations to axle load regulations applicable to cross-border countries. The following table gives an indication of the Axle, Gross Combination Mass and Dimensional limits for most of our cross-border partners:

LEGAL LOAD LIMITS ON GOODS VEHICLES

COUNTRY

STEERING
AXLE
SINGLE
AXLE
TANDEM
AXLE
TRIDEM
AXLE
COMBINATION
AXLE
Angola 7 700 kg  10 000 kg 16 000 kg  24 000 kg 38 000 kg
Botswana 7 700 kg 8 200 kg 16 000 kg  24 600 kg 50 200 kg
Lesotho   8 200 kg  16 400 kg 21 000 kg 49 000 kg
Malawi 7 700 kg 8 200 kg 16 400 kg 24 600 kg 55 000 kg
Mozambique 7 700 kg 10 000 kg 16 000 kg 22 000 kg 38 000 kg
Namibia 7 700 kg 8 200 kg 16 400 kg 21 000 kg 48 400 kg
South Africa 7 700 kg 8 000 kg 16 000 kg 24 000 kg 56 000 kg
    (2 wheels) (2 wheels)    
South Africa   9 000 kg 18 000 kg    
    (4 wheels) (4 wheels)    
Swaziland 7 700 kg 8 200 kg 16 400 kg 21 000 kg 50 200 kg
Tanzania 7 700 kg 10 000 kg 18 000 kg 24 000 kg 52 000 kg
Zimbabwe   8 000 kg 18 000 kg 24 000 kg 56 000 kg

 

LEGAL DIMENSIONAL LIMITS ON GOODS VEHICLES

COUNTRY  OVERALL
WIDTH 
OVERALL
HEIGHT
 LENGTH OF
RIGID
 LENGTH OF
ARTICULATED
 LENGTH OF
COMBINATION
Angola 2,5 m 4,0 m 15,0 m 18,0 m 20,0 m
Botswana 2,5 m 4,1 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 22,0 m
Lesotho 2,6 m 4,1 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 22,0 m
Malawi 2,5 m 4,6 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 22,0 m
Mozambique 2,5 m 4,0 m 12,0 m   18,0 m*
Namibia 2,5 m 4,1 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 22,0m
South Africa 2,5 m 4,3 m 12,5 m 18,5 m 22,0 m
  (medium)        
South Africa 2,6 m        
  (heavy)        
Swaziland 2,5 m 4,1 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 20,0 m
Tanzania 2,6 m 4,4 m 12,5 m 17,0 m 22,0 m
Zimbabwe 2,5 m 4,6 m 12,5 m 18,5 m 22,0 m
*Special permission can be obtained for combination lengths up to 22 metres

Overloading.. Curse or Cure

My Night In Hell

Load and Inflation Tables for Pneumatic Tyres

Keep It Legal