What do you want to know about BC load restrictions? That’s the question we asked on social media, and we got some great feedback from commercial haulers, including @BCTrucker1 and @hnldriver. Thanks!
Q: Can a truck get a permit for overages on restricted roads?
A: Not typically.. If a road has a seasonal load restriction on it, it means the road is too weak to carry loads over a specified weight. We have actually had trucks break through the pavement before and get stuck. (For an example of what can happen, check out this post)
That said, in some urgent circumstance (such as getting feed into livestock) we may monitor the road temperatures and find an opportunity when the road freezes up to get a load through. Like at night or during a cold snap.
If you have questions, contact your local inspection facility and they can help you explore options. A list of facilities can be found at here.
Q: Why are seasonal load restriction signs placed where they are?
A: We try to put the sign right at the beginning of the road where the restriction starts, so drivers have plenty of warning that the road has a load restriction.
However, there may be some instances where a road starts as a higher capacity, stronger built road (typically because more traffic travels on that portion of the road) but further down the road (often where the population tapers off) it becomes a lower capacity / strengthroad that may not have enough strength to carry heavy loads. The load restriction sign is often placed where the load restriction starts on that section of road.
Q: Could you provide charts to show how the weight restrictions affect different loads?
A: This can be a bit tricky, as weight amounts depend on the type of vehicle being driven. There are also some exceptions. The restrictions do not apply to:
- Single steering axles
- Vehicles with a licensed GVW of 5,500 kg or less
For other commercial vehicles, you can find 100% of your legal weight in Appendices A to I of the Commercial Transport Regulations. To figure out the maximums under a 70% or 50% restriction, multiply the figure you find there by 0.7 or 0.5.
Q: How are seasonal load restrictions determined?
A: We use frost probe weather stations and a Benkelman Beam device to measure in real time the temperature of the road. We track over time the changes in the road temperature and know what trends and temperatures ranges lead to increasing moisture content in the roads which makes the roads weak and susceptible to damage. You can read more about this on our blog: How Much Load Can That Road Hold?
Q: What happens if I’m caught carrying a load that’s too heavy on a road that has a seasonal load restriction
A: If you’re caught driving with a load that’s too heavy for a weight-restricted road, you could face a fine and have to immediately reduce your load to meet the weight requirements. You could also be liable for repairs if your load damages the road.