Truck owners happy with  weighbridge upgrades

Transporters in the country have hailed the Directirate of Road Traffic and Safety Services decision to construct new weighbridges as well as  upgrading old ones  a development they claim will help increase the lifespan of their vehicles.

Haulage trucks on weighbridge

For a very long time, there have been disputes between DRTSS officials and truck drivers as well as truck owners  on  issues of overloading.

The development comes at a time when DRTSS has embarked on  a project to upgrade  the weighbridge at Balaka as well as cosntructing a new one at Kalinyeke in Dedza District.

The Dedza weighbridge is mainly targetting trucks from Mozambique who normally ply on the country’s roads without having their load weighed.

The practice has also led to poor road conditions in the country as most overloaded vehicles continue to ply on the roads without being checked, thereby reducing the lifespan of most roads.

Speaking in separate interview the transporters said they are happy with the new development because they pay too much to fix trucks and pay heavy overloading fines which most of the times is the drivers fault.

Managing Director for Jamiya Transport Maxwell Alabi  said most drivers carry matola on top of the normal load and innocent lives continue to be lost incase of accidents.

Alabi said he has always found running his fleet of trucks difficult due to  overloading among other reasons.

“Owning trucks is becoming tough in the country as drivers have the tendency of taking un authorised load which leads to overloading without seeking approval from relevant authorities. If drivers overload the lifespan of the vehicle is compromised and we end up spending millions in maintenance,” said Alabi.

Mponela based Willes Mwale also concured with Alabi that if trucks continually overload they become difficult to maintain as it leads to frequent tyre wear, bursts and in other instances suspension breakages.

“We would love if weighbridges are all over the country because that is how we can operate our vehicles with minimal challenges,” said Mwale.

DRTSS Director Fergus Gondwe disclsosed in an interview with Nyasa Times that the development will help increase the lifespan of   the country’s roads which are being frequently maintained therby draining government hard earned resources.

“We have upgraded the Balaka weigh bridge from a single deck to multi deck and we will also be installing traffic light and  a score board. This will help reduce the amount of time taken to weigh a truck from five minutes to just a  minute,”said Gondwe.

According to Gondwe the development  will also help to minimise disputes as some drivers could not be easily convinced on the amount of load being  carried and the amount of overload penalty.

Gondwe also disclosed that the Kalinyeke weighbridge is targeting trucks from Mozambique and Lilongwe because most of them were able to reach some  parts of the country without having their load weighed.

DRTSS  is expected to spend about K169 million to upgrade the Balaka weighbridge.

The Dedza Weigh bridge is under construction near Kalinyeke Primary School and  is targeting trucks from Lilongwe to Mozambique and vice versa.

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