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Roadways in Canada and northern states that experience consistent freezing temperatures in the winter months have seasonal weight restrictions, commonly referred to as Frost Laws. They are put in place to protect the streets from being worked too hard at a time when they are the most vulnerable to damage. Frost Laws are typically in effect between the months of March and June depending on the geography and the type of prior climate. For example, frost laws will come into effect and get lifted earlier for areas that have had a mild winter and warm summer as the roadways will thaw out sooner.

These restrictions limit the amount of weight we can permit legally, thus making it a lot more complex to move heavy machinery during this time. Therefore, when planning the movement of heavy machinery, frost laws need to be considered as there will be some situations when certain moves will not be possible when they are in effect.

Excess size and weight permits must be obtained for trucks carrying loads exceeding the regular size or weight limits for each province and state. In most cases, permits are issued and regulated by provincial and state level departments of transportation. Professional drivers must be well trained in the ability to order and interpret each permit to understand their implications to ensure safety when transporting oversize loads. You can learn more on how to obtain an oversize permit.

As of December 16, 2019, all carriers and drivers subject to the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) have been mandated abiding this rule. ELDs have been put in place to limit the amount of time a driver is able to work on any given day and week to keep our roads safe from exhausted drivers. These units log the engine run time of each truck to ensure there is no way to circumvent the legal requirements.

The implications from the ELD mandate are widespread across everyone in the supply chain. One of the most important implications has been ensuring that pickups and deliveries are time efficient to prevent them from restricting a driver’s productive workday. 

Pilot Car Requirements are set for each provincial/state level to ensure the safe transport of an oversize or super load. Every jurisdiction has set limits on overall length, width, height, and weight before a pilot car will be required to travel in front or behind the load in transit. In some cases, when loads get above a certain threshold in terms of size, they will be considered a super load and will require multiple pilot cars or police escorts in certain cases.

In order to get commercial goods across the border, there are many requirements that must be fulfilled to create an efficient cross-border movement. A commercial invoice that states the value of the goods being transported will be required in all cases along with a document describing what the goods are. Furthermore, a customs broker will be setup if it has not been done so already to facilitate the processes of clearing the goods with Canadian or US authorities. Furthermore, depending on the type of cargo being transported, there are many situations that will require more documents to get the necessary clearance to cross the border.

It is crucial to find a company that can demonstrate compliance with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency as well as the Canada Border Services Agency. At Vectra Heavy Haulers we have plenty of experience dealing with both agencies and are able to proactively deal with the changes in this evolving customs landscape. Learn more on the cross-border transportation requirements that heavy haul services need to know about.

In road transport, oversized freight is anything that exceeds the capacity of the flatbed, step deck or double drop to transport it. In most jurisdictions in North America, anything over 75’ (22.73 meters) long, 8’6” (2.57 meters) wide, 13’6” (4.09 meters) tall, and 80,000 lbs (36,363 kgs) gross will be considered oversize. There are several jurisdictions that have higher limits on what is considered oversize but that is a guide rule of thumb to consider when planning your next move.

There are restrictions put in place to ensure the safety of the timing of oversize moves. All jurisdictions have daylight travel restrictions that fully restrict or limit oversize movements before sunrise and after sunset. There are also restrictions that are put in place to ensure the safety of moving oversize loads through congested areas during times of high traffic. Most big metropolitan cities will have these restrictions in place during the rush hour traffic periods before and after the workday. Furthermore, these restrictions are put in place during long-weekends that limit or restrict oversize movements for the entire long weekend. At Vectra Heavy Haulers, we are well aware of these restrictions and are able to happy to help plan your next move around them.

Canada places a variety of restrictions on heavy freight transportation. The specific limitations and special licenses required will vary between each province, so it is best to check with each provincial jurisdiction, or to contact an experienced heavy hauling company like Vectra Heavy Haulers directly.