Winter truck load increases

Winter truck load increases will begin Sunday, Dec. 15, at 12:01 a.m. on unrestricted state highways in the central frost zone, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The frost zones can be found on the MnDOT load limits map.

Vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum loads on unrestricted highways during the winter load increase period. However, trucks must comply with current registration weight laws and not exceed registered gross weight tolerances.

Drivers need to check with local agencies before increasing any weights on city, county and township routes.

A winter weight increase permit is required to take advantage of the 10 percent weight increase on interstate highways only; a permit is not required for state trunk highways.

For questions about over legal weight/size “heavy haul” trucking, call MnDOT’s Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations – Oversize/Weight Permits, 651-296-6000 or email: ofcvopermits.dot@state.mn.us.

For questions about enforcement call the Minnesota Department of Public Safety – State Patrol – Commercial Vehicle Enforcement; 651-350-2000.

The start and end dates for winter load increases are based on how weather is affecting roadway strength. These dates are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change. The end date for winter load increases is variable and drivers should check for updates throughout the year.

All changes are made with a minimum three-day notice.

For the most current information, go to MnDOT’s automated 24-hour message center at 800-723-6543 for the U.S. and Canada, or 651-366-5400 for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This information is also published on the MnDOT seasonal load limits website at mndot.gov/loadlimits.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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