Farm Equipment on the Highway

The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) says that a driver’s license is not required to drive a tractor on, along, or across a road. The only requirement is the driver be at least 16 years old. Although the requirements for driving are fairly relaxed, there are many important safety issues that must be considered while operating farm equipment on off-farm roadways.

The first safety consideration when operating farm equipment on a roadway is a slow moving vehicle sign (Image 1). Its purpose is to warn other motorists that your vehicle is moving at 40 km/h or less. It must be located on the rear of the vehicle towards its centre.

Image 1: Slow moving vehicle sign
Image 1: Slow moving vehicle sign

 

Another safety consideration is lighting. Although farm equipment is large, it is still difficult to see in low visibility which can lead to accidents. Nighttime is defined as the half hour before sunset to the half hour after sunrise and lighting should be used during this time. Lighting is also critical in periods of low visibility such as fog, snow, or heavy rain. Lighting requirements vary depending on the size and length of the equipment, so you must ensure that your machine is in compliance with these rules.

Just like driving a regular vehicle, when driving farm equipment, you must signal when turning. The signal needs to be clearly visible to other motorists and turning should only occur if the movement can be made safely. If operating equipment that does not have turn signals, hand signals must be used.

It is important to note that these three topics were covered very briefly and that more detail can be found on government websites, which have been included below. Elite Agri Solutions offers in-person and online farm safety training, including a farm equipment on the highway course. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Check out our online training for Farm Equipment on the Highway

Sources:

https://ofa.on.ca/resources/farm-implements/

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/publications/pdfs/farm-guide.pdf