ST. PAUL — Winter load increases for unrestricted roads are now in place for most roads in the state, including the central, north, north-central and south frost zones. On Thursday, the seasonal increases go into effect in the final frost zones in the metro and southeast areas, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum loads on unrestricted highways during the winter load increase period. However, trucks must comply with current registration weight laws and not exceed registered gross weight tolerances, according to MnDOT.

Drivers need to check with local agencies before increasing any weights on city, county and township routes. A winter weight increase permit is required to take advantage of the 10 percent weight increase on interstate highways only. A permit is not required for state trunk highways.

The start and end dates for winter load increases are based on how the weather affects roadway strength. These dates are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change.

The end date for winter load increases is variable and drivers should check for updates throughout the year.

For questions about over legal weight/size “heavy haul” trucking, call MnDOT’s Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations - Oversize/Weight Permits, 651-296-6000 or email: ofcvopermits.dot@state.mn.us.