In the spring, fluctuating temperatures and freeze-thaw cycles can cause damage to the roads. When temperatures rise, water from melted snow and ice seeps under the pavement and softens the gravel. The high water content can cause the road to lose 50-70% of its strength, so the surface is more likely to be damaged by heavy traffic. When the temperature drops, the water underneath freezes, expands, and breaks the pavement.
When heavy vehicles like trucks travel over paved roads, they can worsen damage by causing the pavement to crack and break up. Under the Highway Traffic Act, Canadian provinces enforce reduced load restrictions on trucks to protect highways during spring thaw, when road damage is most likely to occur.
How provinces set these restrictions
Spring weight restrictions are set based on scientific information and observed road conditions. While restrictions may vary by province, they are implemented based on weight, size of vehicle loads, and highway classification. Because spring weather is so unpredictable, weight restrictions are updated as required.
Impacts to your shipments
When our trucks are required to avoid certain routes due to spring weight restrictions, this may impact the transit time and expected delivery date of your shipments. Stay informed of provincial weight restrictions during spring and plan your shipments accordingly.
See our Service Updates page for current spring weight restrictions that may impact our service.