Winter load increases will begin Monday, Jan. 4.

Winter load increases will begin Monday, Jan. 4, at 12:01 a.m. on unrestricted state highways in the central frost zone, which extends from Willmar and Litchfield up to around Brainerd and Detroit Lakes (see map).

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says 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.

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.

Winter load increases are already in effect in the north and north-central frost zones. 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 [email protected].

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