As the description of this popular class of vehicle indicates, the carrying capacity of the 1 tonne ute is limited to one tonne, or 1000kgs if you prefer. The length of the tray allows for 2 pallets back to back, with some space on either side for other miscellaneous items. A normal one-tonner without special modifications to the suspension, will not have any trouble carrying the full weight, even though visually it may appear that the tray is sagging slightly under the load. But there’s more to this than might meet the eye – unquestionably, one-tonners are frequently being asked to carry more than their specified maximum, and apart from the obvious safety concerns, this has broader implications for the freight industry, and courier drivers in particular.

Many Outgoing Consignments are Never Weighed

Have you ever wondered why courier drivers always seem to be in such a hurry? Many couriers drive their own vehicles, and are contracted out at job rate. There is a direct relationship between the amount of freight they transport, and the amount of pay they take home at the end of the day. While this in itself might not seem to be an issue, a problem begins to arise when the customer – i.e. the business paying to get their goods moved – takes advantage of the fact that a courier who’s short on time is probably not going to bother questioning the weight of the consignment being loaded up onto their vehicle. Don’t let anyone convince you that this isn’t common practice, especially, in the bustling “same day delivery” courier service which dominates our major capital cities.

Businesses Moving Freight Must Take Responsibility

A courier driver cannot be expected to accurately estimate the weight of what is being loaded onto their vehicle, even though one might well argue that they should ‘ask the question’ if visually, it appears that the load weight excessive. Also it’s not realistic to factor in ‘weighing’ time when picking up goods. The unfortunate fact is that when a courier driver turns up to pick up e.g. two pallet, each weighing 700kg, there are no good options available to the courier. Questioning the weight will waste time, which in turn can result in delays, and raise the question of who should pay for the consequent demurrage, a cost which the customer definitely wasn’t intending to incur when they accepted the original freight quote. Refusing to drive off with an overloaded consignment can result in the courier being reported as ‘uncooperative’ and the customer might request to not see that courier again. The third and perhaps most tempting option to the courier, will be to turn a blind eye to the obviously sagging ute-tray, and deliver the freight without asking any questions as to the weight, hoping perhaps that it will be a while until next time.

Courier Drivers Play an Essential Role in the Freight Economy

Businesses who depend on courier drivers to deliver their freight, shouldn’t try and see how long they can get away with understating the weight of the outgoing consignments. Doing so causes needless wear-and-tear on courier drivers vehicles, increasing maintenance and repair costs, costs which more often than not must be covered by the courier drivers themselves. Bulky item courier drivers play a vital role in the business economy, and should be entitled to expect that the freight being loaded onto their vehicles, is as described when the delivery was booked by the customer.