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2024 Minnesota Winter/Frost Law Restrictions

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2024 Minnesota Winter Frost/Spring Thaw Laws and Seasonal Weight Restrictions

As the winter season unfolded, the North frost zone ushered in its winter load increase on January 11th, 2024. Similarly, the North-Central frost zone winter load increased on January 15th, 2024. The Central, Metro, South, and Southeast winter load increase limit dates in Minnesota are yet to be determined. In addition, the spring load restrictions (SLR) dates in Minnesota are yet to be released. However, they typically take effect between March and May. We will update you when these dates are released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, including the Middle-Range Overweight Permits and Full-Summer Overweight Permits dates.

Minnesota Overweight Restrictions

In the state of Minnesota, the term “Oversized Load” pertains to vehicles that exceed certain dimensions. Specifically, an oversized load that surpasses the following dimensions: a width of 8 feet 6 inches, a height of 13 feet 6 inches, and a length of 75 feet for truck-semi-trailers, with any legal overhang included within the length limits. Conversely, an “Overweight Load” in Minnesota refers to loads that exceed specified weight limits. The weights are regulated for such loads, with a single axle limit of 20,000 pounds, tandem axle limit of 34,000 pounds, tridem axle limit of 42,000 pounds, and a maximum gross weight of 80,000 pounds.

Minnesota Oversize Restrictions

When it comes to transporting oversized loads, certain requirements must be met. Loads wider than 14 feet 6 inches, longer than 110 feet, or higher than 16 feet necessitate lead and rear escorts on two-lane (non-divided) roadways. On multi-lane (divided) roadways, only a rear-certified escort is required. Escort vehicles are mandated to display “Wide Load” or “Long Load” signs, along with amber warning lights visible from a distance of at least 500 feet. Communication between the permitted and escort vehicles is mandatory, with the escort driver being at least 18 years old and possessing a valid driver’s license.

Minnesota Oversized Load Signage and Lights

Pilot cars must exhibit a visible, legible “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign mounted on top of the vehicle, along with red/orange 18-inch flags at a 45-degree angle toward the sides. These flags must not extend more than six inches beyond the widest part of the pilot car. Additionally, the pilot car must have at least one flashing yellow or amber light visible from 360 degrees for all traffic.