Close this search box.
Shipping Quote in Sub Header

2024 Wisconsin Winter/Spring Frost Law Restrictions

Shipping Quote Minified - Header & Homepage

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

Winter restrictions in Wisconsin commence from mid-December to late February or early March. Wisconsin’s investment in safe and reliable infrastructure is funded by taxpayers annually. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) maximizes and safeguards this investment. Seasonal weight restrictions play a crucial role in extending the lifespan of Wisconsin highways, enabling industry trucking partners to transport heavier loads during winter while safeguarding roads during spring thaws.

Wisconsin Overweight Restrictions

The determination of frozen road conditions for Zone 5 will be made as necessary. The frozen road law permits increased weights for trucks transporting logs cut crosswise, salt, and sand for winter maintenance during cold weather. WisDOT and county highway personnel use temperature forecasts and frost tubes under the pavement to assess when roads are adequately frozen to support heavier loads. The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18 inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand to increase to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles, up from the normal 80,000 pounds. Special permits are not required in Zone 1, but vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights. Higher weight limits only apply to county or local roads if authorized by the local agency with maintenance authority, and they may not be transported on highways or bridges specifically posted for lower weight limits.

Wisconsin Winter Travel Times

Regarding running hours and holiday restrictions, vehicles and loads not exceeding 12 feet wide, 13 feet 6 inches high, or 150 feet long face no operational hour restrictions in Zone 67. In Columbia, Dane, Milwaukee, Rock, or Waukesha counties, operation is restricted from 4 pm to 8 pm on Sunday and 4 pm to 8 pm on Friday between the 4th Friday in May and Labor Day. Vehicles/loads exceeding the specified dimensions face operational restrictions during darkness, between 4 pm and 8 pm on Fridays from the 4th Friday in May to Labor Day, from noon Saturday to sunrise Sunday, and from 4 pm to 8 pm on Sundays. Additional restrictions apply to Milwaukee County Expressway. For “Oversized Load” banner regulations, vehicles, loads, or combinations exceeding 10 feet in width or overlength require two warning signs. 

See also:

Tire chain laws.
Tire chain laws by location.
Trucking regulations.
Federal bridge formula.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *