Spring Weight Restrictions 2024: Navigating Heavy Haul Loads in Nova Scotia

Spring in Nova Scotia brings unique logistics and heavy haul trucking challenges. As the ground thaws and the roads become more vulnerable to damage, the province implements spring weight restrictions to preserve its infrastructure. Understanding these restrictions and planning is essential for anyone involved in heavy haul loads. This guide will help you to be informed about the spring weight restrictions in 2024 for smooth and compliant operations.

Why Are Spring Weight Restrictions Important?

Nova Scotia Spring Weight Restrictions 2024 (and associated areas) are temporary limitations imposed on the weight of vehicles travelling on certain roads. Authorities typically enforce these restrictions during the spring thaw when the ground is soft, and road surfaces are more vulnerable to damage from heavy loads. The goal is to prevent costly road repairs and maintain safe driving conditions.

When are Spring Weight Restrictions Enforced in Nova Scotia?

In Nova Scotia, spring weight restrictions usually occur in March and can last until May, depending on weather conditions and the rate at which the ground thaws. In 2024, restrictions are expected to be lifted in April. Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) will announce the exact dates closer to the spring season. It’s essential to stay updated with these announcements to ensure compliance.

Key Points to Understand Spring Weight Restrictions

1. Restricted Roads

Spring weight restrictions do not apply to all roads. Typically, these restrictions include secondary roads and some primary highways. The TIR provides a detailed map and list of restricted roads each year.

2. Weight Limits

The weight limits during the restriction period are significantly lower than usual. These limits vary depending on the type of road and vehicle configuration. Ensure you are familiar with the specific limits that apply to your routes.

3. Permit Requirements

Heavy haul trucking may need special permits to travel during the restriction period. These permits often have strict conditions and may require route adjustments or additional safety measures.

4. Enforcement

Authorities strictly enforce compliance with spring weight restrictions. Overweight vehicles face hefty fines and risk potential vehicle and road infrastructure damage.

5. Oversize Loads

Vehicles are considered oversized if they exceed the following dimensions: 

  • The width is 8 feet 6.37 inches
  • The height is 13 feet 6 inches
  • Specific overhang limits exist (4 feet front, 10 feet rear). 
  • Trailer length allowance is up to 48 feet. 

6. Overweight Loads

  • Single axles with dual tires have a limit of up to 9,100 kg (20,000 lb.)
  • Tandem axles up to 18,000 kg (39,600 lb.)
  • Steering axles up to 5,500 kg (12,100 lb.). 
  • Tractor-trailer combos with a gross vehicle weight are limited to 36,300 kg (80,000 lb.).

Strategies for Navigating Spring Weight Restrictions

  • Identify the restricted roads on your routes and adjust your plans to avoid these areas. Utilize alternative routes that are not subject to restrictions.
  • You can stay informed about the restrictions’ official start and end dates by regularly checking the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal updates.
  • Reduce the weight of your loads where possible. Consider splitting loads into smaller, lighter shipments to comply with the weight limits.
  • If transporting essential heavy haul loads, apply for the necessary permits well in advance.


Spring weight restrictions in 2024 in Nova Scotia are a critical measure to protect the province’s road infrastructure during the vulnerable thaw period. Understanding and adhering to these restrictions is essential to avoid fines, ensure safety, and maintain efficient operations. 


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