Truck drivers can finally head out on secondary highways with up to 20 per cent more payload now that roadbeds across the province are frozen. 

The Ministry of Highways will apply the winter weight period starting January 5, wrapping up for the season by March 15. 

According to Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Steve Shaheen, the substantial delay was due to the region's unusually warm December. 

“This year is the latest the Ministry has implemented winter weights in the south since we started recording that data back in about 2005,” he said. “Prior to this year, December 22nd of 2015 was the latest." 

Winter weights typically start around mid-November, once the subsurface of secondary highways have frozen and strengthened enough to transport more weight without causing damage. 

With Saskatchewan’s export-based economy, efficient movement of goods is essential; this period allows for truck drivers to maximize their trips when shipping goods to market. 

“Shippers using secondary weights benefit the most,” added Shaheen. “This allows the efficient movement from secondary to primary weight highways.” 

The program wraps up by March 15 or sooner depending on how mild the weather is.