Abnormal Load Trucks: How to Eliminate Your Truck Operation Challenges With a Fleet System

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Handling a fleet of trucks can be a hassle, and handling an abnormal load fleet can be more difficult. But does it have to be?

Let’s find out how Cartrack Singapore can simplify managing an abnormal load fleet, turning it into a breeze. 

In this article, you will:

  • Understand what abnormal load fleet trucks are
  • Unpack the state of abnormal load trucking in South Africa
  • Delve into the challenges faced in abnormal load fleets
  • Uncover what makes fleet management the ideal solution for these challenges
  • Discover how Cartrack’s fleet management solutions are your secret weapon to fleet success

Unpacking what abnormal load fleet trucks are

Abnormal load fleet trucks are specialised vehicles designed to transport machinery, industrial equipment, and oversized or overweight loads that exceed the standard legal limit, whether width, length, height, or weight. These trucks are important in the transportation industry, as they ensure the safe delivery of heavy cargo—think massive transformers, wind turbine blades, and even oil rig platform sections.

See, these aren’t your typical eighteen-wheelers; they are specifically designed to handle heavy, specialised cargo usually used for major construction and infrastructure projects and use various trailers, depending on the cargo they carry. These include low-bed trailers that sit low to the ground to carry extra-tall machinery, extendable trailers that are ideal for very long objects, step-deck trailers that simplify forklift loading, and flatbed trailers that are ideal for quick and easy equipment loading and unloading. 

Spot the difference: Abnormal load trucks vs. normal trucks

Let’s do a quick comparison of the difference between abnormal load trucks and normal trucks:

Abnormal load trucks Normal trucks
Load size and weight Transport oversized and heavy loads that are above the standard legal size and weight limits Transport large and standard-size loads that are within the usual legal size and weight limits
Cargo type Usually transports specialised cargo such as mining, construction, and industrial equipment Usually transports general goods and materials, such as packaged goods and building materials
License requirements Drivers require special licenses to drive these trucks, as they come with more safety challenges and concerns Drivers require a standard truck driver’s license
Legal requirements These trucks must be permitted to operate legally because they exceed standard legal limits. These don’t require special permits, as they operate within the standard legal limits.

Abnormal load trucks sound like a mouthful, right? Well, that’s what makes these trucks so important—their ability to get the job done, no matter the size. But how important are they in South Africa’s unique economy? Let’s find out.

Decoding abnormal load transportation in South Africa

The South African economy is shaped by the construction and development industry. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2023, the construction industry contributed about R106 million to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The industry is also expected to grow steadily over the next four quarters, recording a compound annual growth rate of 5.8% between 2023-2027. This means that the construction output is set to reach over R276 million by 2027.  

The transportation of heavy, large machinery is a crucial part of a successful construction industry. In South Africa, abnormal load transportation is important for moving components such as mobile cranes, earth-moving equipment, and heavy machinery from one destination to another. 

However, abnormal load transportation isn’t just limited to the construction industry; it also plays a role in the following industries:

  • Mining industry:

    Simplifying the delivery of equipment such as drill rigs, underground loaders, and belt systems.
  • Power plants:

    Aiding the delivery of turbines, generators, and transformers.
  • Manufacturing industry:

    Streamlining the delivery of storage racks and industrial boilers.

With the growth of these industries, abnormal load transportation has also grown, bringing a new set of challenges for them. 

Exploring the hidden hurdles of abnormal load transportation in South Africa

South Africa has a unique climate for running any business, and this applies to the abnormal load fleet industry. South Africa’s economic and geographical climate creates a unique set of challenges for fleet managers. These challenges include:

  • Rising operational costs:

    South Africa is the home of fuel cost fluctuations, with the most recent fuel price increase of R1,21 for a litre of petrol and R1,19 for a litre of 50 ppm diesel. With the amount of fuel abnormal load trucks burn due to their size and weight, even the smallest increase can significantly increase operational costs. Abnormal load trucks need powerful engines to maintain momentum, and the specialised trailers create significant wind resistance. These two factors result in higher fuel consumption compared to regular trucks. So, if fuel consumption isn’t closely monitored, increased consumption will leave you with the nasty surprise of possibly being unable to pay for your fuel. 
  • Fleet compliance:

    Compliance is a big challenge faced by abnormal load fleet managers. Abnormal load trucks carry loads that are so large and heavy that they can exceed legal weight limits. For this reason, transporting abnormal loads requires special permits that specify approved routes and safety conditions, depending on the size and nature of the load. This permit isn’t just extra admin; it’s also an extra expense, which can add to the already expensive nature of abnormal load fleet vehicles.
  • Driver management:

    Handling a vehicle with a heavy load can be very challenging, so drivers need the appropriate training to ensure they drive safely and efficiently. Whether you have one, five, or twenty abnormal load trucks, this can be quite challenging, as you need to keep an eye on your drivers at all times to determine how they are behaving behind the wheel.
  •  Route planning:

    Abnormal load truck routes need to be pre-planned, as they cannot take the same routes as normal vehicles or trucks. Many South African roads are not designed to handle large, heavy loads, especially in urban areas where streets are too narrow and roads have sharp corners or low bridges. Route planning ensures that large loads are delivered on time with little to no delays while avoiding high-risk theft or hijacking areas.
  • Vehicle maintenance:

    Vehicle maintenance is a major challenge for abnormal load fleet managers in South Africa. The increased weight and size of the cargo abnormal load trucks carry puts additional strain on many vehicle components, such as engines, brakes, suspension, and tyres, accelerating vehicle wear and tear. With South Africa’s poor road conditions, vehicle parts can face premature damage, meaning more frequent maintenance.

Abnormal load trucks face a wide range of challenges; if these aren’t handled, your fleet can become a heavy burden. If you’re looking for a solution that streamlines and solves these challenges, you need a fleet management system. 


Go from headache to efficiency with a fleet management system

Imagine having eyes and ears on every abnormal load truck in your fleet at all times. This is the beauty of fleet management systems, it’s a combination of tools and technologies that make fleet management tasks easy. These systems increase fleet productivity, improve efficiency and safety, and simplify real-time monitoring of various fleet aspects. It’s your all-in-one tool to know what’s happening in every aspect of your fleet, whether it be fuel consumption, driver behaviour, or maintenance issues. 

A fleet management system isn’t a luxury; it is essential to the efficient running of your fleet, and without it, the repercussions are detrimental. Let’s take a look at the consequences of not prioritising fleet management in the context of abnormal load fleet vehicles.

How does poor fleet management impact abnormal load fleets?

Effective fleet management is crucial whether you’re transporting normal or abnormal loads. Let’s take a look at the risks of not prioritising it on your fleet:

  • Financial losses:

    Fleet management is rooted in the constant monitoring of various fleet aspects, and without it, a fleet can experience significant financial loss. Fuel wastage due to inefficient routing, poor vehicle maintenance, and dangerous driving behaviour can lead to an increase in operational costs, reducing fleet profitability.
  • Reputation damage:

    Fleet management is essential to streamlining fleet processes, and with it, fleets can avoid delays that can damage their reputation and customer service. One of the most incredible things about fleet management is the in-depth insight it gives you into your entire fleet operation, whether it be driver behaviour, real-time vehicle location, or routing.

    Let’s look at John again. He doesn’t employ fleet management strategies, which means he can’t spot potential delays in delivery routes due to traffic conditions. He also needs to call each of his drivers to find out exactly where they are and how long it should take them to complete their delivery. These factors lead to late deliveries, damaging the fleet’s reputation. 
  • Unplanned downtime and unforeseen damage:

    Fleet management gives you in-depth insight into factors that can lead to unplanned downtime and unforeseen damage. It’s all about real-time monitoring, taking the guessing out of running your fleet.

    John can’t help his drivers stay safe and drive responsibly because he doesn’t know how they’re driving. It is important to remember that, according to the Department of Transport, abnormal load truck drivers require an appropriate license and training to drive these vehicles safely. John cannot provide specific training because he doesn’t know what areas his drivers need training in, increasing the risk of car accidents.

These consequences sound hefty, right? This is why you need a fleet management system. Now that we’ve covered the impact of poor fleet management, let’s explore how a fleet management system can help you take your abnormal load fleet to the next level.

How can a fleet management system help streamline abnormal load fleets?

A fleet management system is the secret weapon you need in your fleet’s arsenal for various reasons. Let’s explore these below:

  1. Streamlined route planning:

    As we established above, abnormal load trucks cannot use all roads due to their size. Using real-time GPS tracking and AI software, a fleet management system can spot congested roads, low-clearance obstacles, bridge weight capacity, and other critical factors that help you identify the safest, most convenient route. Fleet managers can ensure their deliveries are made on time by following routes that won’t require deviations due to congestion or rules and regulations.
  2. Enhanced driver safety:

    Driver safety is essential, especially when handling a vehicle as large as an abnormal load truck. A fleet management system lets fleet managers view their drivers in real time, helping them know exactly what goes on behind the wheel. By doing so, they can spot behaviour that puts their drivers and cargo at risk. This allows them to implement driver-specific training to ensure the fleet remains as safe, effective, and as productive as possible.
  3. Optimise vehicle safety:

    We live in a country where your car is always at risk of being stolen, which is a costly risk for abnormal load trucks and the cargo they carry. A fleet management system helps fleet managers unlock a new level of vehicle safety, thanks to real-time GPS tracking. This helps them to always know where their vehicles are. So, if a driver notifies the manager that the vehicle has been stolen, they can quickly pinpoint its location at the tap of a button.
  4. Preventative maintenance:

    Preventative vehicle maintenance is more than just fixing a faulty part; it’s about spotting the issue before it snowballs into a more serious, costly matter. A fleet management system can monitor the health of various vehicle components, ranging from engines to brake pads. By helping fleet managers quickly spot faulty parts that can affect the truck's roadworthiness, they can swiftly schedule a repair to avoid unplanned downtime.
  5. Effective fleet cost management:

    Running a fleet comes with a ton of costs, which increases with an abnormal load fleet. These expenses can be a lot to manage and keep an eye on, but with a fleet management system, you can know exactly how much money it costs to effectively run your fleet. Knowledge is power, which also applies to your fleet's running costs. This knowledge can help you spot cost drainages in your fleet, implement cost-saving strategies, and ensure you never miss a payment deadline.

Intrigued? Well, you can unlock these benefits for your abnormal load fleet today. How? The answer is Cartrack’s fleet management solutions.


Tame these fleet giants with Cartrack’s fleet management solutions

Cartrack Singapore offers a wide range of fleet management solutions that can simplify the running of your abnormal load fleet. Let’s go over a few of these solutions:

  1. Driver behaviour monitoring:

    Keep track of your abnormal load driver’s behaviour with Cartrack’s AI Live Vision cameras. This AI-powered live streaming technology helps you unlock 24-hour visual access to your fleet, making monitoring each of your drivers a breeze. By making use of AI analysis, our cameras can detect different forms of dangerous or distracted driving, including:

    - Fatigue
    - Speeding
    - Smoking
    - Cell phone use

    Audible in-cabin alerts are triggered the moment these behaviours are detected, allowing your drivers to correct their behaviour in real time. This proactive approach to safe driving works to help your drivers avoid costly and potentially fatal accidents. And, as a fleet manager, you can also receive these real-time alerts on top of keeping an eye on your drivers via a live stream feed to make sure you stay updated even if looking away for a moment.
  2. Driver scorecards:

    Know exactly which areas your drivers need to improve on with Cartrack’s driver scorecards. It’s one thing to know that some of your drivers are driving harshly, but it's another to be able to pinpoint exactly which driver is behaving this way. Our scorecards keep track of high-risk behaviours, including:

    - Harsh braking
    - Excessive speeding
    - Sudden acceleration
    - Harsh cornering

    These detailed reports help you pinpoint the exact time, location, and driver linked to these harsh driving events, helping you know which drivers require targeted training to improve your abnormal load fleet's overall safety.
  3. ADAS:

    Ensure your drivers are completely aware of their surroundings with Cartrack’s Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). This proactive technology uses features such as front collision warnings to alert drivers of a potential threat in real time, helping promote vehicle safety and prevent potentially disastrous road accidents.
  4. Driver ID tags:

    Make sure that only authorised drivers can use your abnormal load trucks with Cartrack’s Driver ID tags. As established, abnormal load truck drivers need special licenses to operate these large vehicles, so you don’t want to give unqualified or inexperienced drivers access behind the wheel. By giving your drivers a unique tag that needs to be tapped on a sensor inside a vehicle to start, you achieve controlled driver-vehicle assignment and usage, unlocking another level of safety.
  5. MiFleet:

    Account for every cent your abnormal load fleet consumes with Cartrack’s MiFleet software. Our cost management system gives you full insight into every fleet expense, ranging from vehicle permits for your abnormal load trucks to their fuel costs. By being hands-on with your fleet expenses, you can say goodbye to human error caused by manual calculations. This reduces your admin time and helps your fleet remain cost-effective, compliant, and profitable.
  6. Cartrack Delivery:

    Level up your abnormal load fleet’s delivery game with Cartrack Delivery. Making deliveries is already taxing and can be a hassle for abnormal load fleets. However, thanks to our Delivery solution, it doesn’t have to be. This solution aims to streamline and optimise all your delivery options by giving you full insight into your driver's location and trips. This helps simplify job assigning, as it is based on job completion times and driver availability. But that’s not all, as this solution also helps you find the best delivery routes for your drivers. By using real-time traffic conditions, our route optimisation tool ensures that your drivers take the most effective, deviation-free routes, which reduces delays and improves overall efficiency and customer service. 
  7. Fuel monitoring:

    Make every litre of petrol count with Cartrack’s fuel monitoring system. At Cartrack Singapore, we understand that fuel is a major expense for fleets, especially those transporting abnormal loads. This is why we’re bringing you a solution that helps you be in complete control of your fleet’s fuel consumption. By helping you monitor fuel consumption in real time, you can quickly spot the source of fuel drainages and even prevent fuel theft.

    Thanks to our software's ability to match your fuel receipts with your vehicle’s location and fuel status, you can spot fuel fraud, helping you reduce cost draining and boost your fleet’s overall efficiency.
  8. Preventative maintenance:

    Ditch unplanned downtime and costly breakdowns with Cartrack’s preventative maintenance solution, equipped to help you spot potential maintenance issues before they become costly and affect fleet longevity. Equipped with advanced analytics, this solution monitors the health of various vehicle components like brake pads, taking the guessing game out of knowing which part of your truck needs maintenance. But that’s not all because this system also creates maintenance plans tailored to your fleet, helping you avoid scheduling maintenance at compromising times, preventing road accidents, and increasing your fleet’s longevity.
  9. Real-time GPS tracking:

    Know where all your abnormal load trucks are at all times, thanks to our real-time GPS tracking technology. Our next-level IoT devices are equipped with GPS and GSM, which gives you full insight into where your vehicle is, the direction it is travelling in, and the speed it is being driven. All you have to do to gain access to this information is open our fleet management platform or our mobile app. Talk about safety at the tap of a button, right? But that’s not all because, with our GPS tracking, you get access to our stolen vehicle recovery service, with an above 90% success rate.

    So, in the unfortunate event that your truck is stolen, Cartrack’s highly trained recovery team works hard to recover it based on its live location updates.

Power your fleet with smart fleet management

Your success as an abnormal load fleet depends on your ability to be forward-thinking in your fleet management approach. Cartrack Singapore is an industry leader that thrives on innovation, making us the perfect choice to take the abnormal weight off of your shoulders.

Watch the video below to find out exactly how:

Master abnormal load fleet management and unlock efficiency, safety, and profitability with Cartrack Singapore

Size plays a big role in fleet management, and to take your big fleet to the next level, you need a big-thinker as your partner. That partner is Cartrack Singapore.

We’re trusted by over 1.9 million subscribers. Trust us in solving your abnormal load fleet challenges.

Contact us today and give your abnormal load fleet the ultimate success.

Don’t let your abnormal load trucks get you down—get your answers from these FAQs

You probably have a few unanswered questions about fleet management. Well, there’s no need to leave this page because we’re here to answer those questions for you!

How can I improve my fleet management?

  • Implementing a fleet management system is the first step to improving your fleet management. This is because a fleet management system helps you manage fuel costs, optimise routes, track your vehicles in real time, and monitor driver behaviour, which is all crucial for improving fleet management.

How do you maintain a fleet of trucks?

  • There are various ways to maintain a fleet of trucks, but the most important include keeping vehicle parts in good working condition through regular maintenance and preventing dangerous driving behaviour that can lead to premature wear and tear.

How do you introduce safe fleet management?

  • Safe fleet management is centered around real-time insight. Focus on driver-specific training, which begins by monitoring your drivers’ behaviour while they’re behind the wheel. Also, prioritise real-time vehicle location monitoring, as this helps you unlock heightened visibility and safety.

How do you deal with fleet management?

  • Take on a preventative approach as opposed to a reactive one.
  • Keep a close eye on driver behaviour.
  • Know where every cent is going in your fleet operation.
  • Measure each litre of petrol consumed.
  • Ensure you know where each fleet vehicle is at all times.

Click here to enter a world of unparalleled safety, efficiency, and productivity for your abnormal load fleet with Cartrack Singapore.

Abnormal load fleets are huge & their challenges can be just as massive. The solution is fleet management software—discover how!