Understanding Seasonal Load Limits for Freight Companies in Minnesota

March 26, 2018 2:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Since Minnesota can have such extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, the state legislature has long allowed local authorities to set load restrictions for the safety of drivers, vehicles, cargo and infrastructure. These restrictions change on a seasonal basis and differ depending on the region of the state. Understanding these restrictions allows freight companies in Minnesota to anticipate any changes to their operations and adapt to ensure that they can still deliver to their customers.

Spring load limit basics

During the winter months, freezing conditions cause the base structure of pavement to become compromised. When temperatures warm up in the spring, roads become temporarily unstable and aren’t strong enough to accommodate excessive load weights. Until the Department of Transportation can verify that the roads are able to bear heavier loads, it implements spring load restrictions for the safety of pavement and drivers alike.

Minnesota load statutes

There are a number of different statutes that apply to Minnesota drivers and transportation companies. The most important statutes are those that give local authorities the right to restrict road usage as needed based on vehicle weight if they have reason to believe that a road or piece of infrastructure may be damaged. The statutes also confirm that local authorities must clearly announce load restrictions by posting sufficient signage when restrictions are in effect. In order to ensure that drivers are notified of road restrictions, the restrictions are only officially in place when there is signage announcing load limitations. This prevents drivers from unknowingly failing to abide by the ordinances.

Because of Minnesota’s load restriction statutes, the Commissioner of Transportation has established load restrictions during different times of the year to ensure that drivers and roads stay safe. On any road where these restrictions are in place, a vehicle of a single axle cannot carry a load totaling over five tons on an unpaved road or 10 tons on a paved road. There are also restrictions in place for school buses, municipal vehicles and cargo tank vehicles.

Start and end dates

Spring load restrictions usually take effect in early March. This year, load restrictions were put in place in the Metro, South and Southeast regions of Minnesota on March 5 and 6. There is no end date in place as of yet for 2018’s load permits, but the date will likely occur sometime in May. More information about the specific dates of the load restrictions can be found on Minnesota’s Department of Transportation website. End dates for load restrictions are posted at least three days in advance.

Contact freight companies in Minnesota

Navigating complicated statutes and load restrictions can be tricky for even the most experienced freight companies in Minnesota. That’s why the team at K-Way Express, Inc. is dedicated to taking the stress off of your shoulders. We have nearly 60 years of service experience working with customers who need pickup and delivery services across the United States. We would be happy to help you with your freight and logistics needs—simply reach out to us today for additional information!

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