Just like your personal automobile, there rules for farm vehicles on the road as well. Many of the rules to pay attention to are similar to the rules that you already know for your personal vehicles. Still, it is good to know what the nuances are in terms of laws and requirements for farm vehicles, as well as what the differences are. Each state can also be slightly different, but here are some common requirements that you should be aware of if you are owning or operating any farm vehicles.
When Is Identification Marking Needed?
Tractors, trucks, and vehicles that are used by farmers working in their fields are required to be registered and have some form of identification on them. In many cases, this means a license plate, which makes a lot of sense. Additionally, though, the company name of the vehicle’s owner, as well as a vehicles USDOT number need to be displayed. The USDOT number needs to be displayed on the power unit of the vehicle.
Some vehicles, including implements of husbandry, among other things, are exempt from USDOT number requirements. Keep in mind that some vehicles can both be implements of husbandry and motor vehicles. A vehicle is categorized depending on how it is being used. A sign saying Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) must be displayed on implements of husbandry. They are also required to have retro-reflective tape, as well as at least one white light on the front and one red light at the rear, as a requirement.
If a truck meets the federal definition of a commercial vehicle; they must display the company’s name and USDOT number on both sides of the truck cab in a contrasting color. The numbers and letters need to be big enough to be seen at a distance of 50 feet. Keep in mind that each state can have some different requirements for vehicles, including farm vehicles, so you’ll want to confirm the requirements for your state.
Identification marking is needed for any vehicles that are partaking in interstate commerce, and specific requirements are listed in each state for vehicles that are participating in intrastate or in-state commerce. These requirements can have to do with the type of freight that is being transferred, the number of passengers a vehicle has, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of a vehicle, and more.
Registration And Licensing Requirements
In addition to knowing the rules of the road, as well as the requirements that each commercial truck has, there are registration and licensing requirements that farmers should be aware of. Farm plates are available and can only be used in connection with the farm itself. This can include the transportation of the farmer and family members of the farmer. Transportation for personal use using these plates is also acceptable. It is legal for a farmer to loan their farm plated vehicle to another person, but not for money. Payment in kind or in services is legal, however. The weight of the vehicle determines the fees for the different types of plates.
There are special farm plates available for transporting crops or livestock, and you will need proof of insurance to purchase them. The transportation that is covered is between a field and a barn or silo or from the barn to the field for feeding or to the grain elevator. Another type of plate that is available is called a log plate. Log plates are used in logging operations. Milk plates, another type of plate, is used specifically to transport milk from the farm to its first point of delivery.
Some people do elect to use Elected Gross Vehicle Weight plates. These plates are utilized for empty trucks that weigh more than 8,000 pounds. They can also be used for trucks under 8,000 pounds that are towing a non-recreational trailer. Your states local Secretary of State office will have applications and fee charts to assist you with your license plate needs.
There are some other rules as well, including it being illegal to drive a vehicle on a public highway if it is using specific types of diesel fuel. This does not include implements of husbandry unless the implement of husbandry is a licensed vehicle.
It is always a smart plan to look up the rules and regulations of your state for transporting goods, including sand, gravel, dirt, seed, livestock, and other freight, and make sure that you are compliant in order to avoid potential problems. The information on Tractor For Hire can be a huge help for staying up to date, so come back often.