Seasonal road restrictions for truck weights
Truck drivers face a confusing array of road restrictions that they need to be aware of to avoid penalties, fines or even losing their licence. Road restrictions can be anything from weight or height limits to hazardous materials or seasonal weight restrictions.
We’ve discussed before how truck drivers can make their life a lot easier (and less chance of getting on the wrong side of the law) by using a GPS system that can follow relevant road restrictions.
But how about considering a specific example of a road restriction, such as seasonal weight limits?
Seasonal weights make for complex road restrictions
Many states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, have implemented seasonal weight restrictions to minimize damage to highways. The basic reason behind this is due to the dramatic temperature fluctuations that occur in these states at certain times of the year thus affecting the road’s strength to support heavy vehicles.
For example, during the period from December 1 to May 1 of every year, state highways in Wisconsin withstand an extreme range of moisture and temperature conditions from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to +70 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes them far more vulnerable to cracking or potholing from heavy vehicles.
From the chart below you can see that there are different times of the year and different areas where weight restrictions are enforced. This is just one example of road restrictions but emphasizes how important it is for drivers to try and automate these route limitations as much as possible.
You can learn more about how a truck GPS can be set to observe road restrictions and route a heavy commercial vehicle in safe and legal way.
Seasonal weights mean making thorough pre-trip checks
Of course it impacts on more than just navigation since, in some instances, it’s not sufficient to just re-route the truck due to a lack of alternative roads. The load will just need to be redistributed to make sure it complies with the relevant weight restrictions.
An overloaded truck is not just a safety hazard; it can mean heavy fines (no pun intended) and even loss of licence. This is not good for the driver or the firm.
How can fleet managers make sure their drivers are thoroughly checking their vehicles before embarking on a journey?
One method that has been very successful is using a feature found in Telogis Mobile™ that requires drivers complete a pre-trip inspection report and confirm it via their on-board GPS device (or PND).
Setup a vehicle safety checklist in Telogis Mobile to check for things like DOT compliance as well as other requirements such as seasonal weighting before starting on a journey.
Having the checklist makes sure that vehicles are safe and legal, covering a range of pre-trip inspections including FMCSA requirements such as brake lines, lighting, suspension, and many other categories.
Keeping the load to a minimum
Driving can be a taxing job so it’s best for everyone when much of the compliance workload can be kept to a minimum with smart GPS tracking software that not only navigates around road restrictions but keeps drivers and vehicles safe with built-in pre and post-trip inspection reports.