Overloaded vehicles cause extensive damage to South Africa’s roads every year. This compromises the safety of all road users and is extremely expensive to repair.
A survey conducted along the N4 Maputo Corridor Toll Route in 2000 indicated that over 32% of the vehicles travelling along the route were overloaded. Since then, Trans African Concessions (TRAC) entered into an operations agreement with SANRAL in an attempt to address the issue of overloading on its route.
TRAC has no law enforcement rights, and as such manages seventeen load control centres (weighbridges) in the Mpumalanga Province and a further two weighbridges in Mozambique, where traffic officers are able to perform their law enforcement role. Eighty dedicated traffic officers in Mpumalanga work on this project on a full time basis.
Since the introduction of these load control centres on the N4 more than one million vehicles have been weighed. Overloading has been significantly reduced on the N4 Toll Route. Currently, only 9% of the average daily heavy vehicle traffic is overloaded and less than 1% of this traffic is illegally overloaded.
With the co-operation of several national, provincial and local government departments, SANRAL, the concessionaires and the freight industry, meaningful progress has been made to combat overloading of heavy vehicles on the national roads throughout South Africa.
TRAC appreciates the commitment of heavy vehicle operators to curb overloading.
• Overloaded vehicles cause damage to the road surface by a factor that grows exponentially as the load increases on a national road.
• Damage to roads as a result of overloading leads to higher maintenance and repair costs and shortens the life of a road, which in turn places an additional burden on the state as well as law abiding road users who ultimately carry the costs of inconsiderate overloaders.
• From a road safety perspective, overloaded vehicles are dangerous as they require longer distances to brake before coming to a stop. Overloaded vehicles generate high centrifugal forces in corners, and shifting loads or loss of tyre grip becomes an instant safety risk. Overloaded vehicles have a reduced tyre life, an increased risk of blow-outs and reduce the driver’s control over the vehicle, escalating the chances for an accident to occur.
Donkerhoek Traffic Control Centre
In 2007 SANRAL and TRAC implemented new load control technology and satellite tracking at the Donkerhoek Traffic Control Centre (TCC) on the N4 Toll Route. Heavy vehicles should take note of the following procedures:
Heavy vehicles on the N4 and alternative routes between Pretoria en Bronkhorstspruit will be screened for possible overloading while driving over weigh-in-motion (WIM) devices on the road
Possible overloaded vehicles will be directed to an area where all registration and licence details will be checked via electronic scanning
From here, vehicles will be tagged and directed to Donkerhoek TCC. The magnetic tags are tamper proof
Tagged vehicles receive toll warrants and directions to proceed to Donkerhoek TCC and back to the original weigh point. No additional toll fees will be paid when warrants are presented at the toll plaza
While underway to Donkerhoek TCC, tagged vehicles will be monitored via satellite (GPRS) from the Traffic Control Centre
Should a tagged vehicle divert from the agreed route, remain stationary, or the tag is tampered with, an alarm will sound immediately and a traffic official will be dispatched. The driver of the vehicle will be prosecuted for failing to comply with the instruction of a Traffic Officer (Section 3 of the RTA 93/1996)
Upon arrival at Donkerhoek TCC the tagged vehicle will be weighed on a static scale and checked for roadworthiness
Should the vehicle fail any of the tests, it will be prosecuted and diverted to a holding area
No vehicle will be allowed to leave the holding area before it is fully compliant with the law (load corrected/defects repaired)
Load Control Centres (LCC) Operated By TRAC
Donkerhoek LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 932 0159 / 27 13 932 2198
Mideast LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 243 9651 / 27 13 243 9651
Midwest LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 243 9658 / 27 13 243 9658
Midwit LCC (R555, RSA) - 27 13 243 9019 / 27 13 243 9019
Machado LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 256 0756 / 27 13 256 0756
Farrefontein LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 256 1086 / 27 13 256 1086
Komati LCC (N4, RSA) - 27 13 793 7765 / 27 13 793 7765
Boane LCC (EN1, Mozambique) - 25 81 72 2982
Matola LCC (EN4, Mozambique) - 25 81 74 7879
Thomas Potgieter (Manager: Load Control Operations)
| Danie Venter (Law Enforcement Auditor)
TRAC is committed to ensure road safety through high standards