That time of year has come around again...everything within reach of the cold temperatures freezes solid. This means that, at 12:01 AM on Thursday, provincial winter weights come into effect.

"When a road bed is frozen, which typically happens in the colder winter months, secondary highways contain the same strength as the primary weight highways. That allows them to support the heaviest legal loads in Saskatchewan," shared Steve Shaheen with the Ministry of Highways.

"Shippers using secondary weight highways benefit the most because this allows the movement from secondary to primary weights. Winter weights are an ongoing Ministry initiative that maximize the amount of goods that can be shipping by truck in Saskatchewan, and of course as we have an export based economy, trucking is one of the key methods of getting produce to port."

That said, however, the weights are weather dependent. If an abnormal rise in temperature is seen, enough to begin thawing out the roadbed, then restrictions will be applied again.

The winter weights typically are in effect from mid November to mid March. They allow shippers to carry more load a time, saving cost with fewer trips and thus boosting the local economy. They will be in effect starting at 12:01 AM on Thursday, and will be applicable for now in all areas except the southwest.

There are a couple of ways fior folks to stay on top of the latest weight situation for the highways nearby.

"They can call 511, or they can go online and check out the Highway Hotline map which shows all the restrictions. For technical or regulatory information they can the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement folks at 1-866-933-5290," Shaheen advised.

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