Not all the roads out there can handle the excess weight from big trucks. That’s why some roads have load limits posted on them. MDOT officials want to make sure people are aware of the signs and respect the regulations.
The sign is posted at the beginning and end of the the road that it applies to. It’s a heavy load limit sign indicating the road ahead may not be traveled on by a vehicle in excess of 23,000 pounds.
MDOT Region 5 Manager Bob Watson says, “It’s generally roads that have not been built to modern standards, we post them for times like this when the roads are soft and the potential is there to do damage to the roads.”
This mostly applies to truckers and farmers out there, and of course it’s not designed to be an inconvenience in any way, it’s simply to protect the roads.
Watson, “This time of year unfortunately posted road season sometimes coincides with the time of year when farmers are trying to get their potatoes out of their potato houses and into market.”
The rules and regulations are the same for each road that gets posted. Practically speaking, if a trucker sees the sign, they would have to find an alternate road.
Watson. “The best advice for people is to go right online onto our website, there’s a page on there that talks about posted roads. A lot of the rules and regulations are right on those posters if people want to stop and actually read those posters beside the road.”
Watson says by law, the department of transportation will have to remove the signs by June 1st. Until then, Maine State police say traveling on a posted road in violation of the weight limit is a steep $610 fine.
Maine State Trooper Robert Flynn, “If the vehicle is empty, no load on the vehicle, then it is exempt from the posted road violation even if it is in excess of 26,000 pounds registered weight. If there is any load on the vehicle, the vehicle is automatically in violation , it does not need to be weighed, and we go by the registered weight of the vehicle.”
The legal posted weight limit is 23,000 pounds. Trooper Flynn says police will enforce a violation at 26,000 pounds since some commercial vehicles are already over 23,000 unloaded. There are some circumstances where people with heavy trucks can get trip tickets which allow them to travel the posted road. For that they would need to visit an MDOT office. Trooper Flynn says home heating oil trucks in excess of the posted weight limit are exempt but they do need a permit from the department of transportation. Also any law enforcement officials can enforce posted road violations, this does include local police departments.