RESEARCH Peugeot UK has found nearly one in every four vans exceeded their maximum payload capacity in Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) roadside tests.

The research found 7% of van drivers were found to exceed their payload limit by 15% to 30%, placing themselves and other road users in significant danger, as overloading increases braking distances, compromises vehicle handling and accelerates wear and tear on safety critical components including suspension, brakes and tyres.

Since 2015, the DVSA has weighed more than 44,000 vans in roadside tests, with 23% found to be overloaded. Exceeding the maximum payload results in a minimum £100 Fixed Penalty Notice, rising up to £300 when exceeding the limit by more than 15%. Any driver exceeding their vehicle’s maximum payload by more than 30% faces a potential court summons.

Peugeot has developed its Overload Indicator to ensure drivers avoid overloading their vans.

The two-stage system is available on the Peugeot Partner and warns drivers when they are within 10% of the maximum gross vehicle weight, and providing a second alert if they exceed the vehicle’s limit.

The alerts flash up at the rear of the van and on the i-Cockpit® display to ensure drivers have maximum visibility when both loading the van and when they are about to set off.

To showcase the simplicity of its Overload Indicator, PEUGEOT challenged a team of plumbers and a team of electricians to load a Partner van as close to its maximum payload as possible with a variety of trade materials, including paint pots, roofing supplies and tiles without setting off the Overload Indicator.

The electricians came out on top, getting closest to the 983kg payload of the Partner GRIP BlueHDi 100 5-speed manual used in the challenge, by packing 917kg of goods inside – including the three-strong team.