As part of the project to update the Malawian Directorate of Road Transport and Safety Services? (DRTSS) 2005 Axle Load Control Strategy and to provide a five-year implementation plan, a country-wide axle load survey was undertaken to assess the incidence of overloading on the paved road network in Malawi. The baseline axle load survey was undertaken by staff members from the DRTSS after attending a two-day training course on overload control and the operation of the portable scales that were used for the survey. Heavy vehicles were weighed at 17 sites in two phases. 2 691 heavy vehicles were weighed on 68 weigh days at an average of 39 heavy vehicles per day. Of the 2 691 vehicles weighed, 1 356 were overloaded, which represents an extent of overloading of 50.4%. The average overloaded mass on the 1 356 overloaded vehicles was 4 264 kg, representing an average degree of overloading of 26.1%. Weigh data from 4 of the 5 permanent weighbridges in Malawi were also analysed to compare the extent and degree of overloading measured at the permanent weighbridges with what was measured during the axle load survey. This analysis showed that the average extent of overloading measured at the fixed weighbridges was 3.1% and the average degree of overloading 5%.
Paper presented at the 34th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6-9 July 2015 "Working Together to Deliver - Sakha Sonke", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.