Monday, March 14, 2011

Law of the frost

I didn’t know about frost laws until . . . well, last month. It’s one of those things I just never thought about before, though obviously many have, since there are laws about it!

The State of Michigan police put it this way: “The term 'frost law' refers to the amount of frost remaining in the ground. The warming and cooling of the ground during the up and down weather of spring causes the pavement to heave and buckle, creating potholes and broken pavement.” March, April, and May are always reduced load months, but the road commission declares when the frost laws are off, and people can start hauling regular big loads again.

So this is a time of waiting here at the farm. It’s super messy, because it doesn’t get cold enough at night. The fields start to thaw, but the frost isn’t out of the ground, so you can’t haul manure or you’ll wreck your fields. Our dirt driveway is a mess, giving you an idea of what a tractor would do to a field. We can’t start the calf barn until the frost laws come off, because they can’t haul the equipment here because it’s too heavy. We can’t dig a well until then either.

You can check with the road commission for when the frost laws come off, but Kris said it happens by word of mouth pretty quickly. People on the road commission often call trucking companies and grain elevators to let them know regular business can commence.

It’ll be a day of celebration here! There’s no sound like a gravel truck barreling down our road at 70 mph to let you know . . . the laws have changed. And get out of the way.

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