Tips to Avoid Overloading Your Car During a Move

Even if you hire professional movers for your Kansas City move, you will more than likely still have to pack up your own car with things you want to keep with you. These items can include first night bags, important documents and medications, pets, plants, and of course your family. Let the movers take as much as they can so you can avoid overloading your own vehicle.

If you attempt to pack your car above its maximum weight capacity, this can be extremely dangerous, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. Overloading could lead to these driving problems:

  • Higher risk of tire blowouts (that’s a lot of stress on your tires)
  • Poor steering capability (bigger loads mean it’s more difficult to navigate)
  • Increased braking distances (it takes longer to come to a stop in traffic due to all the extra weight)
  • Damage to the suspension system (again, lots of stress on the suspension)
  • Reduced top speed (you can’t go as fast in an overloaded vehicle as you can with an empty vehicle, which can be problematic when on the highway)

Unfortunately, vehicle overloading is a common occurrence with house moves, so we thought we would go over some tips to avoid overloading your car and safeguard your car against all potential damage – not to mention the safety of the occupants.

Check Your Tires’ Maximum Weight Rating

All cars come with a max weight limit that they are able to carry without risking brake and suspension damage. To find out that number, check the car’s driver manual.

To find the weight, look for your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (this will be listed as GVWR). Problem with that is, you may not be sure if you are going over the GVWR when loading up the car with belongings and people. In that case, head to a vehicle weighing station, which you will find in frequently placed spots along the highways. It usually costs between $5 and $10 to weigh your vehicle.

These stations are typically located at rest stops or as stand-alone weigh stations on the side of the highway. Heavy semi-trucks often must stop to get weighted periodically throughout their trip. If the attendants aren’t too busy at the moment, they will weigh your car for a fee. Alternatively, you can head to a recycling plant or landfill, where there are large scales that can weigh your car. Mills, farms and factories also have scales used to weigh machinery or food for shipping.

In addition to the overall weight of your car, your tires also have a maximum weight that’s rated for how much they can safely carry.

Find the maximum weight by checking the numbers on the tire’s sidewall. Check out this tire load index table to learn more. Generally, the double or triple-digit number on the outer circle of numbers on the sidewall will show the load index.

If you have recently replaced your tires, take a few extra minutes to work out the new tires’ load index. That’s because replacement tires often feature a different maximum load than the original tires did. Don’t exceed the maximum load weight of all four tires.

Place the Heaviest Items in the Middle of the Car

One big way to protect your tires from overloading is to place the heaviest items in the middle of your car. Moving those heavy items away from the tires is important, as those heavy loads exert more force on the tires the closer they are located to them. To reduce the risk of blowouts on the roadways, keep light items on the sides and the heavy items in the center.

So how can you find out whether your tires are at risk of overloading? You can measure the gap between the top of the tire and the frame of your car. You should see at least a two-inch gap there.

Spread Weight Symmetrically

You will have problems steering the car if one side of the vehicle is significantly heavier than the other, especially when on the freeway going at high rates of speed. So, when packing up your car, disperse the weight evenly on either side to give it a more balanced load. Don’t forget to take into account the weight of your passengers as well. Space them out evenly too.

Hire a Mover

The best way not to overload your vehicle is to hire movers to take the bulk of your stuff for you. They have large trucks that can handle many thousands of pounds of stuff, and the best suspension system and tires to ensure a smooth ride. You will still want to bring a few things with you in your personal vehicle but it won’t be nearly as much stuff as you would if you were moving yourself. Not only can movers transport your stuff, they can come to your home, pack it up for you, put it in the truck for secure transport, and then deliver it to your new home. It’s a no-brainer, really.

One more thing: overloading a vehicle with boxes and other belongings can be dangerous from a driver safety perspective. Blocking windows and mirrors will reduce your line of sight and you will increase your risk of getting into an accident. Blind spots are bad enough. Don’t worsen them with piles of stuff. Plus, you risk getting pulled over for an overloaded vehicle, such as when you’re going so slow on the highway as to become a danger and a nuisance.

Contact Moving Proz

Get a free moving quote on your upcoming business move to Kansas City or surrounding areas. Why overload your own vehicle when we can load our huge trucks and get the job done in a fraction of the time? You’ll save the integrity of your vehicle and you’ll save yourself from dangerous driving conditions as well.