2021 frost winter frost laws, thaw laws and weight restrictions.

2021 frost laws, thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

Learn the details of the winter frost laws, spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions. Details for the USA and Canada by State/Province. Many areas incorporate temporary special weight limits and restrictions (frost or thaw laws) during the winter and spring months of the year. These temporary restrictions are usually referred to as “frost laws” or “thaw laws” and implemented typically during the month or March and April. In some Northern States and Provinces frost laws can still be in effect in July as it’s much colder in the North. Since these restrictions are implemented on a “as needed” basis it is possible many of the official government websites may not have published this temporary restriction in a convenient place as frost laws are also subject to change at any moment based on the temperature of the roads core. You want to be certain to check with the appropriate officials to verify the latest changes in the laws.

2021 United States: Restrictions on winter and spring seasonal weight laws.

Idaho   Iowa   Maine   Michigan   Minnesota    Montana   Nevada    New Hampshire    New York   North Dakota  Pennsylvania    South Dakota    Vermont   Washington    Wisconsin    Wyoming

2021 Canada: Restrictions on winter and spring seasonal weight laws.

Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick New Foundland & Labrador  Nova Scotia  Nunavut  Ontario    Prince Edward Island   Quebec    Saskatchewan

Why we have these laws and must protect our roads and highways.

In order to keep the trucking industry operating the Northern US states and Canadian provinces rely on engineers and scientific data to determine which dates frost laws will be in effect. With fairly recent advances in science and technology, data is much more reliable. This helps with the implementation of “Frost Laws” or “Seasonal Weight Restrictions” ensuring they are not implemented to early or late. While no State or Province desires to delay the transportation of goods through their territory it is imperative public assets are protected.

In areas that constantly get negative (ie: -10 below zero) temperatures the amount of damages has forced Northern US States as well as Canadian Provinces to create and enact laws that restrict vehicle weights during the spring and winter months (specifically trucking companies) when the roads and bridges are thawing out. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with different types of roads and pavements. For example the State of Michigan has implemented permanent frost laws that go into effect during the months of March through May (and in some cases even June). Some routes require legal axle weight limits be decreased by as much as 35%. Some areas and local governments may also limit heavy-haul vehicle speeds to a maximum of 35 miles per hour during frost/thaw law months regardless of posted limits.

Oregon hwy. US 1. Photo courtesy of KDRV.com

One of many examples is in Southern Oregon on old US Highway 1 (which follows the coast line from Mexico to Canada) the road is as much as 16 feet thick as years of pavement (even bricks) has been laid down year after year since the early 1900’s. It should be noted that today’s technology is able to provide us with roads that are flexible due to the engineering of the construction process and the materials used. Excessive weight exerted by overloaded axles (or a weakened supporting base) can cause the pavement to bend or deform. The strength of the road combined with its resistance to bending determines the amount of weight the roadway can handle.


See also:

Tire chain laws.
Tire chain laws by location.
Trucking regulations.
Federal bridge formula.
Exemptions from seasonal restrictions.

Virginia State Shipping Regulations

Virginia state shipping regulations. DOT permit limitations, rules and laws for trucking. Oversize and over weight (heavy haul) loads on the roads and highways.

Oversize and overweight trucking permit limitations as well as legal load information.

The great state of Virginia official seal.

State trucking regulations for the heavy haul trucking industry. Virginia state shipping regulations for oversize shipping and  trucking – DOT transport permits.

Locate Virginia heavy haul trucking company and pilot car directory:

Virginia trucking company directory.
Virginia pilot cars and truck escorts.

Legal load limits.
Legal loads that require no trucking permits:

Length: Trailer length maximum is 48’.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 13’ 6” tall.
Weight: 80,000 lbs. gross maximum.
Overhang: 4′ in the rear and 3′ in the front.

Routine trucking permits.
Routine over-weight, oversize shipping, trucking and transport permits:

Length: Up to 150′ in length.
Width: 15′ 11″ wide.
Height: 15′ is pretty much it on routine.
Weight: Depends on routing.  Contact them at the number above.
Overhang: Depends on your overall length.  Contact them at the number above with route ideas included.

Legal travel times.
Travel times and restrictions:

One half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset rule applies for Virginia state shipping regulations. Overall shipments that are under 12′ wide 14′ in height and under 115,000 pounds gross weight may travel on Saturday but only until 12 noon.  No travel is permitted on Sundays as per Virginia state shipping regulations.  If shipment is overweight only then you may travel 24/7.  The cities that are largely populated do not allow oversize travel during the peak hours of 7 am – 9 am and 4 pm – 6 pm except for  shipments that are over weight or over height.  Travel is not permitted on the following holidays: New Years day, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.  The permit office is closed on these holidays as well.

When pilot cars are required.
Pilot Car and Escort vehicle information:

Length: If a shipment is over 105′ in length combined on a 2 load road you will be required to have 1 rear pilot car (escort).  If the overall combination is over 125′ long on multiple lane roads you will be required to have 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Width: On 2 lane highways for shipments over 11′ wide 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort) is required.  On multiple lane highways if over 14′ wide you will be required to have 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Height: Any shipment that exceeds 14′ 6″ in height will require 1 front pilot car (escort) equipped with a height pole.  Manufactured homes are required to have 1 front pilot car with a height pole if the height exceeds 15′ tall.  Virginia state shipping regulations department does NOT guarantee height clearances and suggests you choose by your own volition to use a pilot car with a height pole where height may be in question.
Weight: If routinely permitted you will more than likely NOT be required to have an escort.
Overhang: If the rear overhang exceeds 1/3 of the trailer length 1 escort is required on 2 lane highways.  If rear overhang exceeds 20′ of a single unit vehicle it requires 1 rear escort on 2 lane highways as per Virginia state shipping regulations.

Required shipment markings.
Tractor/trailer signs flags and lighting:

Virginia state shipping regulations states that head lights must remain on at all times when in transit.  All shipments that exceed 60′ in length, 10′ in width and/or with over 10′ of overhang must display warning signs/banners in the front and rear of overall shipment and be marked “OVERSIZE LOAD”, WIDELOAD OR LONG LOAD – whichever is the most appropriate as per Virginia state shipping regulations.  The sign must be no less than 7′ in length and 18″ in height with 1 1/2″ thick black lines with a yellow background and a 1″ black border all around the outsize edge of the sign/banner placed no less than 18″ above the pavement.  Whenever a load is a WIDELOAD and a LONG LOAD the WIDELOAD sign/banner should be displayed.  1 strobe/flashing amber light will be required to display on top of the tractor cab.  This amber light must be visible from a minimum of 500 feet from 360 degrees.  A flashing/strobe amber light must also be placed on the rear of the shipment placed in the upper most top, rear position.  Emergency colored red, yellow or orange flags of no less than 18″ in either direction must be placed at all 4 corners of the overall shipment.

Pilot car certifications.
Pilot car and escort vehicle requirement:

PILOT CAR DRIVERS IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA MUST BE CERTIFIED BY VIRGINIA. Virginia state shipping regulations states pilot car drivers must take a test at a DMV office in order to work in this state if escorting a load over 12′ in width.  You can view the manual, application and handbook here.  The Virginia state shipping regulations certification is valid for 5 years.  Testing locations and information can be obtained by calling 804-828-2023 or the DMV 866-368-5463.  One flashing or strobe amber light must be horizontally mounted above the top (roof) of pilot cars (escort vehicles) and must be visible from a 360 degree angle from a minimum of 500 feet.  The minimum strobe or flash height from the top of the roof must be 4″.  All pilot car/escort vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or 2-way communication devices.  All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a bumper or roof mounted “OVERSIZE LOAD”, “WIDELOAD” or “LONG LOAD” sign visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle.   Sign must be at least 5′ long and 12″ in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 10″ tall and 1 1/2″ in width.  You must have a hand help sign with the word “STOP” on one side and “SLOW” on the other with dimensions of no less than 18″ in diameter with a minimum of 6″ letters to be used in controlling traffic. Also, a safety colored (red, orange, yellow or lime green) vest, jacket or shirt which is to be worn while directing traffic and is required to be worn anytime the shipment will encroach traffic in ANY manner.

Virginia DOT & helpful information.
Wisconsin DOT information, road conditions and misc.

Physical address: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles PO Box 27412 Richmond, VA  23269
Email: If you get a good e-mail address please leave it below for others.  Thank you!
Help telephone line: Permits: 804-786-3495 or Requirements: 804-249-5130
Fax: 804-786-5722
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:o0 pm (closed for lunch hour until 1:30 pm)

Eastern Time Zone

Click here for the State DOT Website for oversize and over-weight hauling permits.
These are the actual state forms available.
Virginia State road & highway conditions.


Virginia state shipping regulations permit limitations and regulations for shipping oversize and overweight in Virginia.

Virginia state flag.

The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers and pilot car companies. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the Virginia State DOT Permits office before commencing movement.