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Frost Laws: What You Need to Know

The What and Why of Frost Laws

Despite how they might sound, frost laws usually come into place at the beginning of spring. As the temperatures warm up and previously frozen ground begins to thaw at this time of year, roads are not as solid and stable as they would be at other times of the year. Therefore, frost laws exist in order to prevent damage to existing road infrastructure such as potholes by imposing weight limitations per axle. Doing soallows local governments to allocate resources away from road consistent infrastructure maintenance while keeping our roads safer for other drivers. The exact limitations of frost laws vary depending on the jurisdiction but generally speaking, when the roads become weaker, there are limits to how the trucking companies can use them.

Frost Laws - Vectra Heavy Haulers

Why Frost Laws drive up costs

One of the implications of frost laws is that the cost of getting equipment and other heavy goods shipped can be driven up significantly. When there are limits on how heavy vehicles can be, this means one of two things: either more axles will be required, or more trucks will be needed. Additional axles take time to install while increasing the chances of requiring oversize permits and escorts during transport. At the same time, more trucks can easily mean that the cost to get something moved can double during the frost laws.

Frost Laws can Prevent Shipments

Some frost laws, such as Michigan frost laws and North Dakota frost laws, may not just be limiting but also preventative. If there is no way for a vehicle to meet the frost laws’ standards with a given equipment configuration, then there is no option but to hold the shipment items until the frost laws are lifted. With this knowledge, it is essential to be proactive when entering the spring months to plan equipment moves around the frost laws in order to avoid having to wait several months until the frost laws are lifted before shipping your equipment.

When do Frost Laws End?

Usually, frost laws will end in either late May or early June. At this time of year, the roads will have become strong again to handle regular axle weights without compromising the integrity of the roadways. Once frost laws end, they will no longer be of concern, and we can continue trading just as we were before. If the equipment isn’t urgent, and you forgot to order it during winter, it might be wise to order once the frost laws are over to avoid high costs.

Where do Frost Laws apply?

Since a lot of North America does not reach freezing temperatures in the winter that would cause the ground to thaw in the spring, frost laws only apply to the following northern states in America: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Maine. Furthermore, frost laws will be in place across all of Canada(such as Alberta, BC, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, etc.) during the spring.

At Vectra Heavy Haulers, we are very familiar with all the frost laws and state/province permit regulations across North America. We have provided logistics and heavy haul services to businesses in the USA and Canada for many years. So, give us a call at 289-290-1033 and let us help you with your next transport, especially given the frost laws and their implications.