Thaw Period

What is a thaw period?

In some Canadian provinces exists a period when the road is more brittle than in normal conditions because of the melting snow after winter and increased rivers level, which can even flood some regions.

Each spring, the Québec Transport Ministry determines the dates of the thaw period for the three thaw zones in Quebec. During this period, heavy vehicles traveling on the entire road network must reduce their loads, following the limits imposed by the Regulation, respecting load and dimension standards applicable to road vehicles.

Here are below the CARGO limits for Québec and Ontario for the Dry loads. If the Cargo is heavier than the below-mentioned limit, a 4-axles chassis must be used (additional fees will apply for this, during the Thaw Period). In the case of DROPs, this fee will be counted as a daily charge after 24 hours of usage.

The company which sends the Work Order instructions is responsible for providing correct information and for the penalties that could arrive if the information appears to be wrong during a road inspection. For the Export loads, it can be the Approximate maximum cargo weight.

NOTE: Reefer containers weigh 1000 kgs more than non-reefer ones, so deduct 1000 kg more from the Dry limits.


Attached: Map of the Quebec Thaw Zones and Trailers Cargo limits

Depending on changing weather conditions, the start and end of the load restriction period may be advanced or delayed. See below the Thaw period in Quebec preliminary dates for 2024.

Zone 1

Monday, March 04 (00:01) to Friday, April 26 (23:59)

Zone 2

Monday, March 25 (00:01) to Friday, May 17 (23:59)

Zone 3

Monday, April 1 (00:01) to Friday, May 24 (23:59)


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