Frost laws and seasonal weight restrictions: Part 2

Posted by init357

As discussed in our previous blog post, frost laws are restrictions put in place to protect roadways from damage during the spring thaw. These seasonal mandates often include restrictions on both speed and weight. Seasonal weight restrictions are usually in place between early March and mid to late June depending on the weather in a given year. Many states and provinces will adjust the timeline of their seasonal weight restrictions annually based on factors such as moisture content in the soil and current temperature conditions and forecasts.

Let’s examine some of the frost laws and seasonal weight restrictions in a few noteworthy geographic locations.

New Jersey: There are no frost law restrictions currently in place in our home state of New Jersey.

Pennsylvania: Based on the study of many years of weather data, Pennsylvania schedules seasonal weight restrictions from February 15th through April 15th. However, the state reserves the right to issue additional restrictions based on current weather conditions or upcoming storms in the forecast.

New York: There are no annual standing seasonal weight restrictions in New York, but the state reserves the right to issue restrictions as conditions dictate. It is noteworthy that New York issues restrictions to ALL tractor trailers during periods of snow and snow removal on all major highways.

Vermont: There are no annually recurring restrictions, but the state will post restrictions on state highways during periods of rain or when the frost or snow begins to melt. It is important to note that no issued permit will be allowed to supersede these posted restrictions.

New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has issued customary spring load limits on certain sections of the state highway system. These postings are determined annually based on the analysis of the roadway system and weather conditions by department district engineers.

Minnesota: The Minnesota Department of Transportation breaks up the state into various “frost zones” and posts restrictions and updates on a “per zone” basis throughout the winter and subsequent thaw period.

Michigan: The state of Michigan does not allow loads that are overweight on any group of axles during springtime weight restrictions. During this time the state does not allow rigs with more than 11 axles to operate. Loads measuring more than 14′ in width are prohibited from operating during this time period. Also during this time period, weight limits can be subtracted by 25-35% of the normal maximum capacity.

North Dakota: North Dakota has a chart that categorizes seasonal restrictions each year by weight classes and axle groupings.

The Department of Transportation for each state will post updates and changes to restrictions on their websites. It is important to be cognizant of these restrictions when dealing with overdimensional or heavy loads. The experts at De Mase Trucking and Rigging stay on top of all frost laws and seasonal weight restrictions. Contact us today and put our knowledge, experience and expertise to work for you.

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