Demystify the thaw period

28 February 2018


Every spring, companies operating heavy vehicles must comply with section 419 of the Highway Safety Code (chapter C-24.2) in order to protect Quebec’s road network.

This compliance with the law implies load restrictions that vary from 8% to 20%. In fact, during the thaw period, the road is 30 to 70% more fragile than usual. Moreover, this fragility of the road is due to our harsh weather conditions. During the winter, the ground freezes at a depth of 1.2 metres to 3 metres. Thus, in spring, the accumulation of water helps to weaken the layers of materials that make up the road. Heavy vehicles that overload during this period can therefore cause considerable damage to the road. However, by introducing this reduction in charges, the damage to the roadway is reduced.

Quebec Road Safety agents, who report to the Societe de l ‘assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), ensure the compliance of heavy vehicle loads. Thus, when a truck is overloaded, the company has two options; either to distribute the load on the axles or to unload the surplus to get back on the road.

During this period, it is essential for Transport Bourret to ensure compliance with the restrictions imposed by the government. Therefore, it is very important to get customers real shipment weight in order to ensure compliance with the law and reduce the risk of penalties.

If you have further questions about the thaw period, you can refer to the website of the Ministere des Transports du Québec:

by Valérie Bourret
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