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What does the law say about overloaded trucks?

Overloaded trucks are more difficult to manoeuvre and represent a significant risk of accidents. They also accelerate wear and tear on infrastructure and roads and generate significant repair costs for local authorities.

Articles R. 312-1 to R. 312-9 of the French Traffic Code impose limits to be respected concerning:

  • the total weight, depending on the type of vehicle and its number of axles;
  • the load on each axle, depending on the distance between axles;
  • the total weight of the trailer, depending on the weight of the towing vehicle.

Exceptions may be granted, in which case, a prefectural decree must mention the new constraints to be respected (e.g. itinerary, load distribution, speed, signs, etc.).

What if I do not respect the provisions of the Traffic Code mentioned above?

You risk paying a 4th class fine (which can go up to 750€). However, these 4th class fines can be accumulated (decree n° 2011-368 of 4 April 2011). 

And, if the weight of the vehicle exceeds the regulatory limits by 5%, the vehicle may be seized.

It is therefore in the interest of both the transporter and the site manager to control and weigh their trucks! 

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