Episode 22: Floor loads on trucks

When loading a truck from the rear, it is often safe to drive onto the loading area with the forklift. Very few people think about whether this is even permissible and whether the floor can withstand the load.

Regulations for the load capacity of a truck body

The technical regulation for the load capacity of a truck body can be found in EN-12642 Code XL.

Load securing on road vehicles – “Bodies on commercial vehicles – Minimum requirements; German version EN12642:2016” is the title.

Unfortunately, this standard makes no reference to the load-bearing capacity of the floor, only to the superstructure.

It is necessary to read another standard, namely DIN EN 283 “Swap bodies – Testing“.

This specifies in detail how the soils are to be tested. As a rule, this standard is not accessible to the shipper who is entrusted with loading a truck. He must therefore adhere to the information provided by the trailer manufacturer or specified by the employers’ liability insurance association as a boundary condition.

The manufacturers use the following markings, for example, which are usually located on the left or right of the rear portal or on the inside of the door.

The maximum axle load for industrial trucks is specified as 5,460 kg.
In this example, an axle load of 7,200daN is even specified.
The manufacturer Krone specifies a maximum axle load of 7,000 kg in the image.

Care must therefore be taken to ensure that the load + truck do not have a higher axle load. According to the TIS-GDV, forklifts with max. 2.5 tons of lifting capacity.

Risks when driving on the loading area

Of course, driving on a loading area also involves risks from a “work safety” perspective. Especially when the semi-trailer is uncoupled from the tractor unit or the swap body is set down. In some cases, manufacturers make concrete specifications, but in general the shipper must take this into account, even if no instructions are given.

If the axle load is too high when driving onto the empty trailer, it can tip over and the truck falls into the resulting gap. Here has
the manufacturer limits the axle load to 3,000 kg.

Care must also be taken to ensure that the axles of the trailer are blocked with wedges to prevent it from rolling away.

The driver must place the chocks and the loader must check them.

Of course, there is also the critical situation when the first pallets are placed against the front wall with the forklift truck. It is then located in front of the trailer’s support legs.

If the axle load is more than 5,460 kg, the trailer can tip forwards.

The manufacturer Kögel, for example, uses the marking to indicate that the empty trailer may only be driven on if it is supported at the front and rear.

The front support must be positioned in front of the kingpin. The attached parking supports are not sufficient.

Here is an example of what such a support might look like. Source: https://www.europieces.lu/de/verladetechnik/sicherheitsstuetzen-undsicherheitsboecke-fuer-lkwauflieger/sicherheitsstuetzen-fuer


This is the clear requirement of the employers’ liability insurance association for accident prevention. It is therefore advisable to organize the processes in such a way that the regulations are complied with. This includes collecting the necessary information before loading to ensure safe loading and unloading.

Every company should have a clear work instruction/checklist for this situation to ensure a regulated process.

Yours, Sigurd Ehringer

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