*Reviewed February 10, 2023
Towing with your farm truck? Consider the following before hitching up and heading out!
The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) treats trailers and towed farm implements differently. The HTA defines a trailer as, “a vehicle that is at any time drawn upon a highway by a motor vehicle, except an implement of husbandry…” Towed implements of husbandry are not trailers! They do not become trailers when towed by a truck.
The HTA defines a commercial motor vehicle as, “a motor vehicle having permanently attached thereto a truck or delivery body…” Farm trucks are commercial motor vehicles.
Trucks may legally tow up to two (2) trailers; subject to maximum length, width, height and weight rules of the HTA.
Oversize/Overweight (O/O) Permits:
A truck or truck/trailer combination exceeding any of the following requires an Oversize/Overweight or O/O permit;
- width: 2.6 metres (8’6″),
- length: 23 metres (75’6″),
- height: 4.15 metres (13’6″), or
- weight: determined by vehicle registration and the HTA
Farm equipment carried on a truck or trailer is a load. If any of its dimensions exceed the limits noted above, an O/O permit is required.
You may tow up to two (2) farm implements behind a licensed truck. The combination must operate at 40 km/h [25 MPH] or less, with a SMV sign on the rearmost implement. Maximum length, safety chain and lighting requirements apply too.
Your truck’s registered gross weight (RGW) determines its registration or plate fee. RGW is the total of the truck’s weight plus passengers, fuel, load, plus trailer and its load.
The gross weight of a light trailer, [less than 2,800 kg (6,173 lbs)] need not be added to the truck’s gross weight for registration purposes. However, once a trailer’s gross weight exceeds 2,800 kg, all of its weight must be added to the truck’s weight for registration.
A Class ‘A’ license is required for any combination of truck and towed trailer or towed vehicle (including farm implements and wagons) where the trailer transmits more than 4,600 kg (10,141 lbs) to the road.
A Class “A with condition R” or “Restricted A” is only for the combination of a truck and single trailer, where the trailer exceeds 4,600 kg; the trailer cannot have air brakes.
Refer to HTA regulation 340/94 [Driver’s Licenses] for all other license classes.
“FARM” plates are reduced fee commercial plates for farm trucks with a RGW over 3,000 kg (6,613 lbs), used for personal use or to haul farm products, equipment or supplies. Hauling farm products, equipment or supplies for others must be free of charge, except during September, October or November.
Annual Truck/Trailer Safety Inspections:
Annual safety inspections are required for;
- any truck not towing a trailer, if the truck’s actual weight, registered gross weight or gross vehicle weight rating exceeds 4,500 kg (9,920 lbs.), or
- both the truck and the trailer if;
- the weight of the trailer exceeds 4,500 kg, or
- the combined weight of the truck and trailer exceeds 4,500 kg.
Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR):
All trucks, including farm trucks, with an actual or registered gross weight over 4,500 kg (9,920 lbs) must have a CVOR. CVOR renewals cost $50; new CVORs $250. New applicants must pass a written test to obtain a CVOR.
Driver Trip Inspections (Pre-trip Inspections):
Trucks weighting over 4,500 kg (9,920 lbs) must carry a signed daily inspection report. Inspection reports are only valid for 24 hours from their time of completion.
A 2 or 3 axle farm truck, not towing a trailer, and carrying or used to carry primary farm products produced by the driver or operator is exempt from carrying a written report. However, you are not exempt from inspecting the vehicle before heading out!
Hours of Work:
Drivers of trucks over 4,500 kg are limited in their length of time “behind the wheel”.
The driver of a 2 or 3-axle farm truck or a 2-axle farm truck towing a single-axle trailer, used to carry primary farm products produced by the driver or operator, is exempt. However, the driver’s on and off duty times must be recorded.
All commercial motor vehicles, including a farm trucks, “dualie” pickups or trucks towing a business-type trailer must stop at an open weigh scale. Empty pickups need not stop.
For further information, contact your local OFA Member Service Representative or OFA’s Guelph office.