Incorrectly loaded ute on the motorway.
Incorrectly loaded ute on the motorway. Supplied

Ute load needed trimming

IT’S not the world’s biggest crime, but police and the RACQ have warned that packing your ute the wrong way could have dire consequences.

A concerned reader sent the Queensland Times a photograph of a ute carrying two lawn mowers in an awkward position while travelling on the Ipswich Motorway at the weekend.

While the driver may have had a logical reason for loading the mowers side-to-side, causing the handles to protrude about 50cm either side, the rules state that a load cannot stick out more than 150mm (15cm) from either side of a vehicle – and for good reason.

Ipswich traffic branch officer in charge Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton said the driver risked injuring a cyclist or pedestrian.

“Without knowing the constraints that may have limited the driver’s ability to align the mowers in another way, I’d say it at least shows a lack of common sense,” Senr Sgnt Hamilton said.

“If it was me who’d seen it I would have pulled him over for a bit of a chat about the way he is loading the ute.”

The basic fine for exceeding the maximum load projection is less than $100 and results in one demerit point, with truckies facing bigger penalties.

However if someone was to cause death or injury to another motorist, cyclist or pedestrian, they could face criminal charges such as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm or death.

RACQ vehicle technologies manager Steve Spalding said anyone loading up utes or trailers should take the time to check the rules and also use common sense.

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