FARM VEHICLES WHEN OPERATING ON HIGHWAYS ARE REGULATED BY
THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT OF ONTARIO
The following are extracts from definitions given in Section
1 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
...does not include...farm tractor, self-propelled
implement of husbandry or road building machine within the
meaning of the H.T.A.
...means any vehicle that is at any time drawn
upon a highway by a motor vehicle, except an implement of
...means a self-propelled vehicle designed
and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing ploughs,
mowing machines and other implements of husbandry and not
designed or used for carrying a load.
SELF-PROPELLED IMPLEMENT OF HUSBANDRY
...means a self-propelled
vehicle manufactured, designed, redesigned, converted or reconstructed
for a specific use in farming.
...includes a motor vehicle, trailer, traction
engine, farm tractor, road-building machine and ANY vehicle
drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of power, including
...is defined to include a common and public
highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place,
bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended
for, or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles
and includes the area between the lateral property lines.
...Your FARM TRACTOR
is not a motor vehicle, but it
is a vehicle.
...Your IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY
are not motor vehicles
or trailers, but they are vehicles.
...a FARM WAGON
remains a farm wagon whatever is the
towing vehicle. (See Insurance Note below.)
are NOT REQUIRED
...for farm tractors.
...for farm implements or self-propelled implements of husbandry
when traveling from farm to farm for farming purposes,
or to places necessary for repair or maintenance.
...for farm wagons.
...for self-propelled implements of husbandry when traveling
on a highway for purposes other than mentioned above.
Farm tractors, self-propelled implements of husbandry, or
farm wagons are not required to be covered by insurance, as
per the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. These vehicles
are normally included in the farm insurance policy.
However, the farm insurance policy does not cover a farm wagon
or implement of husbandry when towed by a motor vehicle that
is registered, or required to be registered, under the H.T.A.
In this case, the towing vehicle's liability insurance applies.
|Maximum Size Limits
||Combination of Vehicles
* A combination of vehicles may exceed 23.0 metres if they meet all requirements of Ontario Regulation 32/94 which allows 25 m (82 ft) combinations and 16.15 m (53 ft) trailers.
** There is no width restrictions for loads of loose fodder.
or towing of oversized farm vehicles on the road is governed
by the requirements described below.
Definition: "Over-dimensional farm vehicle" means a farm
tractor, self-propelled implement of husbandry, implement of
husbandry, or any combination of them, having a weight, width,
length or height in excess of the limits provided in Part VI
or Part VII of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.
Ontario Regulation 603 describes the ONLY conditions under which an over-dimensional farm vehicle may be operated on certain highways. This chart summarizes those conditions for reference only. The lighting requirements listed below are in addition to those which apply to all farm vehicles described on Panel #6 An overdimensional farm vehicle may:
- be prohibited from moving on certain highways.
- require the display of additional lights.
- require an escort vehicle to the front and rear when the width exceeds 4.80 metres.
|All over-dimensional farm vehicles
(greater than 2.60 m wide)
|PROHIBITED FROM operating on Highways 400 (certain sections), 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 409, 410, 417, 420, 427, 2A, QEW, and specified sections of the CONESTOGA PARKWAY
|Over 2.60 m wide
Up to 3.80 m incl.
|DAYTIME - No additional restrictions. NIGHTTIME OR POOR VISIBILITY - 2 flashing amber lights on front and 2 on rear.
|Over 3.80 m wide
Up to 4.80 m incl.
|DAYTIME - 2 flashing amber lights on front and 2 on rear, OR rotating roof light. NIGHTTIME OR POOR VISIBILITY - 2 flashing amber lights on front and 2 on rear, AND EITHER a rotating amber roof light OR escort vehicles at front and rear.
|Over 4.60 m wide
||DAYTIME - 2 flashing amber lights on front and 2 on rear, OR rotating roof light. NIGHTTIME OR POOR VISIBILITY - 2 flashing amber lights on front and 2 on rear, AND single rotating amber roof light AND escort vehicles at front and rear.
||Must show four-way flashers, OR amber rotating roof light.
As of January 1, 1994, Ontario Regulation 611 made under the
Highway Traffic Act states that certain trucks and trailers
with an actual weight (single or combined), Registered Gross
Weight (RGW), or manufacturers vehicle weight rating of more
than 4500 kg (9920 lbs) require an annual safety inspection.
The term "truck" includes transport tractor units, fire trucks,
passenger vans, mini vans, two and four-wheel drive trucks,
regardless of the type of license plate attached to the vehicle,
i.e. car, truck or farm.
The term "trailer" includes boat, snowmobile, livestock and
general-purpose utility trailers but does not include a trailer
specifically designed as an implement of husbandry.
A vehicle or combination of vehicles requiring an annual inspection
must display or carry evidence of compliance with Ontario, and
any other Canadian jurisdiction or United States regulations.
An annual inspection can be done by your local garage provided
it is licensed to do so by the Ministry of Transportation. The
inspection certificate is valid in any province or state for
12 months after inspection.
purpose of this sign is to warn other road users that the vehicle
displaying the sign may be a vehicle traveling slower than the
normal speed of traffic.
Every farm tractor and self-propelled implement of husbandry,
when operated on a highway, or any vehicle towed by either of
have a slow moving vehicle sign attached to
the rear, except when directly crossing a highway.
be displayed in the center of the rear of the rear-most
vehicle, between 0.6 meters and 2 meters above the roadway.
be clearly visible for a distance of not less
than 150 meters.
The SMV sign colors deteriorate through exposure to sun and
weather. To ensure the sign is clearly visible to other road
users, it should be replaced when faded or damaged.
Always BE SEEN!
Remember the SMV is for your safety.
...do a pre-trip inspection of all your equipment. Make sure
it is in good mechanical condition.
...as a driver of a vehicle, it is your responsibility, by
law, to clearly indicate all turns, slowing or stopping and
to make certain that the turn can be made safely.
If your equipment or load does not allow other drivers to see
hand signals, then you should equip your vehicle with electrical
or mechanical signals.
Your visibility is vital at all times. Always use your lights
when it is dark or visibility is poor. Many collisions occur
due to the fact that other motorists do not see you in advance.
Lights are required on a highway at any time from one-half hour
before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other
time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable weather
conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway cannot be seen
clearly at a distance of 150 meters.
a FARM TRACTOR
a SELF-PROPELLED IMPLEMENT OF HUSBANDRY must carry:
...if fitted with an electric lighting system, are required
to display two white lights on the front of the vehicle and
at least one red light on the rear of the vehicle.
...if not fitted with an electric lighting system, must display
on the left side of the vehicle, a lamp or lamps displaying
at least one white light to the front, and at least one red
light to the rear.
Lights or lamps must be clearly visible at a distance of at
least 150 meters.
All the Highway Traffic Act tire regulations apply to farm tractors
and self-propelled implements of husbandry. However, these vehicles
may use tires marked "not for highway use", or "farm use only",
when traveling on highways.
The highway use of studded tires is strictly prohibited.
No vehicle shall be operated, or object moved over or upon any
highway with any flange, rib, clamp, or other device attached
to its wheels which will damage the highway.
The H.T.A. does not limit the number of wagons or trailers that
may be towed by a farm tractor or self-propelled implement of
husbandry. The driver is responsible to ensure that the combination
does not constitute a hazard.
Each farm wagon or implement of husbandry being towed, must
be connected to the towing vehicle by two separate means of
attachment. Also, each trailer or farm wagon must have two separate
means of attachment to the vehicle ahead. A safety chain's strength
must be equal to the gross weight of the vehicle or vehicles
being towed. This does not apply when towing a farm wagon or
implement of husbandry directly across a highway.
A farm implement or farm wagon being towed by a farm tractor,
self-propelled implement of husbandry or any other motor vehicle
must display a red light on the rear of the rear-most vehicle.
When the combined length of the towing vehicle and towed vehicles
exceeds 6.1 metres, an amber or green light must be displayed
on each side of the vehicle, close to the front and a red light
displayed on each side, close to the rear of the rear-most vehicle.
Reflectors approved by the Ministry may be used instead of these
BE SEEN at night!
Never drive your farm vehicles at night
or, in adverse weather conditions without proper lighting.
The driver of a farm tractor or self-propelled implement of
husbandry is not
required to hold a valid driver's license
when driving on a highway, but must
be at least 16 years
of age. Under 16 year-olds are only
allowed to drive
a farm tractor or self-propelled implement of husbandry directly
across a highway.
Farm vehicles should be driven on the traveled portion of the
highway because the shoulder may not be firm enough to withstand
the weight of the equipment.
It is not illegal to drive on the shoulder. However, it is illegal
to overtake and pass other vehicles when driving on the shoulder.
The Criminal Code of Canada applies to drivers of vehicles both
on and off
the highway. It is illegal to operate a farm
tractor or a self-propelled implement of husbandry on or off
the highway when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
A conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada for drinking
and driving offenses automatically incurs a minimum three month
driving prohibition...both on and off the highway. A subsequent
offense incurs a minimum of one year's prohibition. For the
first three months of this period, you are prohibited from driving
any vehicle (including a farm tractor or self-propelled implement
of husbandry) on a farm.
A conviction of a drinking/driving offense provides a one year
suspension of a driver's license under the Ontario Highway Traffic
For the first three months of this period, you are prohibited
from driving any vehicle
(including a farm tractor or self-propelled
implement of husbandry) in any public place.
CVOR identifies those responsible for the operation of commercial
motor vehicles having a registered gross weight of more than
4500 kilograms and the conduct of their drivers. The CVOR Certificate
(or a true copy) must be carried in any vehicle over 4500 kg
at all times.
Farm plated vehicles are commercial motor vehicles.
For further information, contact the Carrier Control Office
- Toronto. Phone (416) 235-4479 or elsewhere in Ontario 1-800-387-
(Class "G" refers to cars, light trucks, etc., not exceeding
a registered gross vehicle weight or total gross weight of 11,000
refers to vehicles which exceed 11,000 kg gross vehicle weight
or registered gross weight, provided any towed vehicles are
not over 4600 kg). To tow a vehicle exceeding 4600 kg gross
weight, the driver must hold a valid Class "A" driver's license.
The regulation gives the busy farmer more freedom in assigning
full or part-time helpers to drive his farm vehicle, e.g. during
seeding or harvest time. If they hold a Class "G" or "G2" license,
the Class "D" farm vehicle may be driven, provided it's owned
or leased by the farmer, registered and licensed as a "Farm
Vehicle" and used for personal transportation or trucking produce
Class "D" Farm Vehicles may not
by anyone who holds a Class G1, M1, M2, or M License in accordance
with Ontario Regulation 340/94 under the H.T.A.
Also, you may not
drive a Class "D" vehicle when it is
used for hire with a Class "G", "E", or "F" driver's license.
The Dangerous Goods Transportation Act, 1981, is intended to
promote safety in the transportation of dangerous goods on Ontario's
highways. Farmers must ensure that dangerous goods are transported
in accordance with the Act and Regulations.
While there are several exemptions provided in the regulations
for the transportation of dangerous goods used in farming, there
are many farm chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides,
fuels, gases, etc., which may require special documentation,
safety markers and driver training.
Information regarding the regulations, as they apply to farming
operations, can be obtained from any Ministry of Transportation
The information and recommendations contained in this publication
are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary
expert opinion on the subject material. The Farm Safety Association
does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of subject
material, nor can it accept responsibility for health and
safety recommendations that may have been omitted due to particular
and exceptional conditions and circumstances.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.