Operating Farm Machinery on Public Roads

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#Plant 17 is quickly approaching and haying will be here before you know it. Usually you need extra help at this time so it makes sense to hire the neighbor’s kid. I mean who doesn’t need some extra help with seeding or haying.  Working on a farm sounds like a perfect summer job, but there are some things farm owners and employees need to remember when it comes to operating Farm Machinery and Implements safely on the road this year.

How old does someone have to be to operate farm equipment and what kind of license do they need to have?

In Ontario, there is NO minimum age to operate farm equipment on private property. Operators UNDER the age of 16 are ONLY allowed to cross the road. For example: driveway to the very next driveway. In order to drive on the road, the operator must be 16 or older – they do not need to have a license. The only exception is if you have an Ontario driver’s license that is currently suspended. Drivers with suspended licenses are NOT allowed to operate on Ontario roads, regardless of the type of equipment they are driving.

Is it safer for me to drive a tractor/Farm Implement on the shoulder or on the roadway?

John-Deer-Tractor-on-RoadWhile it is legal for farm vehicles to drive on the shoulder of the road or highway,( this will certainly make drivers of other cars happier) is it NOT advisable. Farm operators are encouraged to drive on the road surface. It is safer for both the farm machinery operator and the cars trying to pass. Cars are forced to slow down and pass properly instead of trying to “squeeze“  by a tractor driving on the shoulder. Shoulders are not often built to support the weight of farm machinery and can collapse under the weight of the moving farm implement.

Can I use GPS and electronic monitors while driving on the road?

While technology has certainly made farming easier and more precise, it still illegal to use any hand devices while operating farm machinery on the road. All devices used while driving on the road must be hands-free!

These tips will help ensure that everyone stays safe on the roads this summer, regardless of what they are driving or operating.

If you have any questions or what to know more about insurance and farm equipment feel free to call our office at (519) 941-2266 and ask our farm experts today!

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