Spring load limits to slow Prairie grain movement

(Resource News International) — Spring road bans are starting to be put into place across Western Canada as temperatures warm up in the Prairie provinces.

The annual restrictions set axle weight limits for vehicles moving on certain roads in an effort to reduce the damage heavier loads can cause during the spring thaw period.

Movement of both grain and equipment can be affected by the spring road bans, as farmers, truckers and machinery operators may need to find alternate routes or haul smaller loads.

Duration of the restrictions depends on the local weather conditions, but the limits typically last through April and into May.

In Alberta, spring road bans ranging from 75 to 90 per cent of normal axle weights were put into place on March 1 for numerous roads. Full details of the affected roads are available from the provincial transportation ministry.

In Saskatchewan, weight restrictions were implemented in the southwestern part of the province as of March 1, and the zone will expand in the upcoming weeks. The province’s highways ministry provides updates on affected roadways on a weekly basis.

Manitoba’s spring road bans come into effect March 18 in the southern part of the province and a week later in the more northern regions.

The province’s restrictions vary depending on the road, with Level 1 restrictions consisting of 90 per cent of normal loading, and 65 per cent of normal on Level 2 roads. Full details are available through Manitoba’s transportation department.

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