Getting out on the road requires some forethought and some basic knowledge. This includes load-carrying, especially as it pertains to roof racks and overloading.

When you carry a load on roof racks, you need to understand some technical aspects of doing so – including installation, load rating, load size, and the distribution of the weight of your load.

Many people don’t understand how going off-road impacts your load rating. It’s crucial for your safety and the security of your load that you do…

Load Rating Explained

When you select and purchase roof racks for your vehicle, the first thing you need to consider is the load rating of your 4WD. This is the amount of weight your vehicle’s manufacturer determines that your roof can handle. It will, in many cases, be lower than your vehicle’s actual load-carrying capacity, but it should not be exceeded so as to maintain safety and avoid damage.

The load rating is broken down into different types:

  • Static – determined when your vehicle is stationary
  • On-road – determined when driving on sealed roads
  • Off-road – determined for unsealed, dirt, or uneven roads
  • Cargo – stipulates the weight of gear your roof and roof racks can accommodate

Your overall load capacity is impacted by the weight of your roof racks. To determine how much weight you can carry, you need to subtract the weight of your roof racks and accessories from the overall load rating of your vehicle – the result is the cargo load rating of your vehicle.

Weight Distribution Explained

When you load your roof racks, you also need to understand the implications of weight distribution. Large loads need to be evenly distributed over your roof racks, even between front to rear and left to right. Your load must also comply with restrictions on its height, length, and width, and without exceeding your load rating. Your load must be secured.

When driving with a load, you need to modify your driving to suit – driving with greater caution. Loads can alter your handling, steering, and the time taken to slow down when travelling at speed.

What if I Need to Carry a Long Load?

If you have a long load, you need to take extra care.

  • Wind that is directed under the load in transit (especially at speed) can direct upward force on your load.
  • Long loads must be flagged with a bright flag fixed at both ends of the load item.
  • Long loads must be lit at either end for night-time driving.
  • Straps and anchor points must be used to secure your load
  • Install and use carriers for bicycles, canoes, kayaks, skis, etc as per manufacturer instructions.
  • Be aware of local laws relating to load limits. These may vary between states.
  • Check all bolts and other attachments on a regular basis.

Choose ARB Maroochydore for Roof Rack Installation

Don’t overload your vehicle! You also need to understand that if you plan to go off-road, your cargo load rating will be considerably less than it is for on-road travel.

If you overload your roof racks, not only will your vehicle potentially be unsafe and your load insecure; you may also render your warranty on your vehicle and your roof racks null and void. Your racks and accessories should be professionally-installed and fitted to your vehicle by an authorised dealer.

ARB Maroochydore is a professional supplier and installer of roof racks including Rhino Racks. We understand the intricacies associated with roof rack selection, fitting and installation, and mitigating the risks of roof racks and overloading through education and providing simple guidelines for you to follow.

Let ARB Maroochydore Get You Set!

ARB Maroochydore is your best supplier and fitter of 4WD accessories on the Sunshine Coast. This includes (but is not limited to) roof racks. We also provide expert advice and guidance on all aspects of 4WD-ing and off-roading – so don’t hesitate to call or visit us today! Nick and Lara and their friendly team have the know-how and the real-life experience to get you on the road, all set for adventures wherever it may lead you.

Contact us now via our contact form or call us on (07) 5475 4011. Better still,  visit ARB Maroochydore at 1/127A Sugar Road, Maroochydore Qld. We’re here to help and will be delighted to meet you.