UNDATED (WSAU) -- As of midnight, truckers hauling logs can pile them on a little higher. That’s because Wisconsin’s Frozen Road Law is now in place. Every year after the frost has solidified the ground under highways, Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation allows log haulers to haul 98-thousand pounds instead of the usual 80-thousand pounds. Michael Sproul from the DOT says the recent very cold weather is actually good news for loggers. “We’ve determined that the roads are now frozen. They’re frozen sufficiently down at least 18 inches. The heavier weights can now be held by that roadway bed.”
This year, truckers will have to pay attention to new seasonal load limit boundaries. Sproal says they used to use just the common east-west state highways, but that changed. “Because of the way that the highways are just east-west, but yet the weather patterns are not just east-west, so essentially what happened was the folks that were just north of the Wisconsin Rapids area, we did not declare the roads frozen very early because the roadways in the Green Bay area in the same zone were not frozen.”
The state’s frozen road law only benefits log haulers, and does not apply to all wood products. “Not all trucking, it’s only raw timber products, not wood chips, so the loggers are the ones benefiting from this.”
Sproal says there is another benefit for loggers. The frozen ground allows them to harvest in places that are difficult to access in the summer. “The other thing is, the woods are frozen, so now they can get in with heavier equipment and take down some of the larger trees and not disturb the land.”
The Frozen Road Law is now in place for zones 1 and 2, which is primarily north of Highway 10 except in the eastern part of the state. A map of the zones is available at their website.
The frozen road rules for log haulers will remain in place until the spring thaw begins.