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Winter roads timber transport

Geofenced BK4 vehicles on snowed winter roads

The purpose of the project is to increase the efficiency of the transport system in the form of better utilization of the infrastructure in time and space in order to change to a more sustainable society by allowing BK4 vehicles on snowed winter roads. For example, by making available route's "shortcuts" that cannot be used today.

Winter roads are a name for roads that have certain rules regarding truck weight during winter. It means that certain public BK2 and BK3 roads in northern Sweden may be operated with gross weight equivalent to BK1 (64 tons) during the period Nov-March. Load-bearing class (BK) is the classification used to grade the carrying capacity of roads, i.e., how heavy vehicles such roads may be burdened with. The rules are needed to pro­tect roads from, for example, premature wear and tear or to prevent accidents. Public roads are divided into four carrying capacity classes with different weight restrictions.

This project aims to investigate and test whether it is possible to allow transports with a gross weight equivalent to BK4 (74 tons) on certain roads in winter through changes in the regulations. If the same truck is allowed to load more, it would mean reduced envi­ronmental impact and increased road safety. It would also mean reduced costs for the timber industry, for example. Why this hasn't already been introduced has to do with the fact that a frozen road body can carry BK4 vehicles, but the carrying capacity of a bridge is not affected by winter weather. Bridges and regulatory compliance (driving so that the bridge is not damaged) is thus the crux of the matter.

Our starting point is that it is possible to generally allow heavier traffic if the impact as a result of increased gross weight is compensated by lowering the vehicle's speed to a low speed over the bridge. With the help of new technology and smart vehicles, it is now pos­sible to control and follow up what speed a vehicle has over a bridge, e.g., by geofencing, which in turn means that the road manager can now dare to take the step and extend the scope of regulation to BK4 on winter roads. 

More concretely, in the project we want to achieve a safe system to allow BK4 vehicles, which is possible to scale up and thus increase productivity. We want to show that it works by running a pilot for 3 months in the winter of 22/23 and testing possible imple­mentations in collaboration with the timber and automotive industry. Since our vision in the long run is a changed regulatory framework, we also want to show what a future reg­ulatory framework could look like and work, including accountability for those drivers who do not comply with the regulations. We also want to show what the societal benefits will be from a changed regulatory framework with the help of data from the pilot to sup­port sustainable development.


Project name

Geofenced BK4 vehicles on winter roads




Region Västerbotten

RISE role in project


Project start


1 year

Total budget

1 560 000


Trafikverket, Sveaskog, Skogforsk, Scania, Volvo Lastvagnar AB, Sveriges Åkeriföretag



Project members

Kristina Andersson

Contact person

Kristina Andersson

Senior Researcher/Legal expert

+46 73 089 52 16

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Anna Eriksson

Contact person

Anna Eriksson


+46 10 228 40 68

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