Under Section 122 of the Highway Traffic Act, reduced load restrictions are placed on trucks to protect Ontario's highways during the spring thaw, when road damage is most likely to happen. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent reminds drivers that the "half-load" season starts annually on March 1 and continues until April 30. If the spring thaw occurs early, restrictions may be placed before March 1. If dry conditions exist, restrictions may be lifted earlier than April 30.
Areas in Chatham-Kent with reduced loads in effect will have signage posted (see below). If you notice anyone exceeding the half-load restriction, please contact the Chatham-Kent Police Service's Traffic Unit at 519-352-1234.
Motorists may encounter the following signs showing reduced loads:
Maximum Tonnes Sign
Under some circumstances, such as structural weakness, it is necessary to limit the gross weight of vehicles on bridges temporarily. The overall vehicle weight impacts the bridge structure and the same maximum weight restriction applies to both single and combination vehicles. The maximum tonnes sign (single gross weight -Rb-63) is used to limit loads on constrained bridges.
The Maximum Tonnes Sign (single gross weight) must be used on bridges where the same maximum gross weight applies to single and combination vehicles. A structural assessment of the bridge is required prior to passing a by-law authorizing the weight restrictions.
Maximum Tonnes Sign (by truck type)
The Rb-63A Maximum Tonne Sign (differentiated by truck type) is used to limit the weights of heavy vehicles on weak bridges. In some situations, vehicle configuration and the weight distribution of two different vehicle components across the bridge structure are critical to the safety of the bridge.
The Rb-63A sign must be used where structural engineers have set individual load restrictions requiring the maximum permitted gross vehicle weights for a single-vehicle unit (e.g. cube truck), a combination of two vehicles units (e.g. a tractor and trailer) and a combination of three vehicle units (e.g. a tractor and two trailers). The Rb-63A sign indicates the maximum weight for each vehicle combination.
The Maximum Tonnes Sign (differentiated by truck type) must be used on bridges where the different maximum gross weight applies to single and combination vehicles. A structural assessment of the bridge is required prior to passing a by-law authorizing the weight restrictions.
For more information on bridge weight restrictions, call Engineering and Transportation at 519-360-1998.