Safety issues with sawn lumber trucks
Truck accident near Assin Juaben

Safety issues with sawn lumber trucks

After observing the movement of trucks loaded with sawn lumber from Mim, through Goaso, Bibiani, Diaso, Ayanfuri, Obuasi, New Edubiase, Assin Fosu, Nyankumase, Yamoransa etc., I can reasonably assume that the trucks are not monitored, and apparently, there are no safety protocols in place to be followed by the drivers and chain operators who load those trucks, and as a result, the trucks are overloaded for the long haul journeys on busy highways.

Below are some reasons why overloaded trucks pose imminent dangers to vehicles and other road users on their paths:

• Trucks carrying a lot of weight may experience transmission failure. When a truck is carrying loads above its maximum allowable weight, the overburdened transmission may fail, especially when going uphill, and the truck may roll over or collide with other vehicles behind it.

• Trucks carrying excessive weight do not react automatically when the brakes are applied. When a vehicle carries too much weight, it becomes more difficult and dangerous for the driver to stop it instantly, because vehicles are designed to take more time and space before stopping completely.

The braking system may malfunction on the road under certain weight conditions.

• Like all the other mechanical parts of the truck, tyres also have limits or the maximum weight they can carry.

When trucks are overloaded, there is a bigger chance that the tyres will also experience failure or blowouts (blasts). When the tyres fail, the driver will find it difficult to steer the truck safely on, or off the road, resulting in a collision and other dangerous situations.

The three sawn lumber truck accidents, among others that happened last year (2022) at Ntotroso (Ahafo Region), Obuasi (Ashanti Region) and the Assin Juaben area (Central Region), respectively, were all attributed to overloading-triggered brake and transmission failures.

The Ntotroso accident truck reportedly had two thousand seven hundred and fifty (2,750) boards of sawn lumber loaded on the truck.

With the number of truck accidents and incidents happening each year, it is obvious lives and properties can be saved if lumber operators and drivers adhere to basic safety protocols.
In a broader scope to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, cargo weight limit regulations must not be compromised.

Frank Boateng,

Ex Mineworker & Road Safety Advocate,

Anyinam Street,
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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