Farmers are encouraged to review seasonal weight restrictions that are, or will soon be, in effect for many Michigan counties.
“In late winter and early spring, as snow melts and temperatures rise, seasonal road weight restrictions minimize the impact of the freezing and thawing cycle on the state’s roads and bridges,” said Michigan Farm Bureau legislative counsel Andrew Vermeesch. “Roads are vulnerable during this time, so road agencies enact weight restrictions—commonly referred to as frost laws—on roads that are not designated as all-season routes.”
A detailed map of counties with seasonal weight restrictions can be found on the County Road Association of Michigan website.
Agricultural haulers may obtain exemption permits to enable movement of products and equipment when necessary. To do so, the hauler must notify the county road commission at least 48 hours in advance of the shipment. The permit provides a designated route, time, and maximum speed to be traveled. Other conditions the commission and hauler agree upon can be included, however, a county road commission cannot charge more than the permit cost to administer nor refuse to issue permit if hauler does not agree to additional conditions.
Vermeesch noted that while agriculture may be exempted, it is important for producers to be mindful of road conditions during this season.
“We ask farmers to use good judgment when making decisions to move products and equipment and to limit heavy loads or delay travel, if possible.”
Information for farmers about seasonal weight restrictions, and other transportation and road safety regulations can also be found in Michigan Farm Bureau’s Michigan Farmer’s Transportation Guidebook.