Why Trucks Roll Over – Heavy Truck Rollover on Highway On-Ramp

When driving a truck, it’s not just about what you’re driving. It’s also about what you’re pulling. We’ve all seen truck rollovers, where a truck is flipped over on its side and wonder “How did such a heavy machine flip over?” A truck is commonly referred to as a tractor-trailer. The machine at the front is referred to as a tractor, and the load it’s pulling is referred to as the trailer. Depending on what it’s loaded with, the trailer usually weighs more than the tractor itself. While the tractor determines which direction and speed to travel, it needs to be super-sensitive to the weight and of the trailer its hauling.

In the video below, we see a highway passing below at a cloverleaf interchange. On the far-right of the screen, the tractor-trailer driver enters the highway via an on-ramp loop. As the tractor turns into the loop, the trailer tilts due to its weight and eventually overturns. The weight of the trailer overturns the tractor as well. What caused it? While the truck may have been following posted speed limit, it should have traveled slower given the load it was pulling. Since the on-ramp was descending into the highway from the road above, the downhill acceleration might have let the driver over-confidently coast down the on-ramp without paying attention to the speed they should have been travelling at with that load weight.

For those of us who don’t drive trucks, this is also an opportunity to be more aware of why a truck is travelling at a slow speed. So next time we get stuck behind a slow-moving truck at an on-ramp or off-ramp, we can appreciate the truck driver is operating his vehicle with everyone’s safety in mind.

Getting a rolled over truck off the road is the job of heavy towing professionals. Using the wreckers of their heavy tow trucks, they latch onto the trailer and winch the trailer back in an upright position. If required, they may also use airbags to lift the trailer off the road. Abrams Towing is a leader in heavy towing operations. With a large fleet of heavy tow trucks and the most experienced operators in Canada, you can trust Abrams Towing for your next heavy recovery operation.