Can You Drive a Farm Truck Without a License?

Can You Drive a Farm Truck Without a License?

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Are you a farm owner, offer landscaping services, or own a greenhouse? You probably own one if not several farm vehicles to assist you with hauling or are planning to get one. Whether you exclusively use your vehicle on your farm or get hired by other farmers, there are some amazing facts you ought to know about vehicles. Read on to find out all the benefits you get entitled to as a farm vehicle owner and the conditions you ought to observe to be eligible.

You can drive a farm truck without a license. Any family member, farm owner, or employee can operate it on the farm and within a distance of 150 miles without a license. You, however, need to have one if you travel/move beyond 150 miles from the farm.

Any vehicle used to transport farm supplies, produce, machinery or livestock to and from the farm gets categorized as a CFVs. They usually get exempted from repair regulations and annual vehicle inspections. They are, however, subjects to several transportation laws which every farmer should know. Let’s take a look.

Can you drive a farm truck without a license?

You can drive a farm truck without a license. It, however, depends on the distance you intend to drift away from the farm. You can only drive within the farm and a 150 miles radius without one. Any distance beyond that and to other states requires the one driving to have a CDL. If you are driving a hired truck you will need to have a license. Farm owners and family members driving beyond the 150-mile range need to have one as well.

Farm truck uses that doesn’t require a license

A farm truck is an agricultural-use vehicle used for transporting farm produce and inputs within the property. They can be as simple as pick-ups or bigger tractors used for lifting much heavier objects. Trucks and tractors fall under covered farm vehicles (CFVs) and usually get exempted from most federal transport regulations.

Also, you ought to know that transports regulations may differ from one state or country to another. Be sure to stay up to date with state regulations especially, if you intend to transport agricultural products into and out of other states.

Do you have to have a license to drive a farm-use vehicle?

Can You Drive a Farm Truck Without a License?

Usually, you do not need to have a license to operate farm vehicles. For any vehicles below 26,000 pounds, you don’t need to have one. You, however, need to get one for any vehicle beyond 26,001 pounds. Additionally, the 150- mile radius distance from the farm applies to all kinds of farm vehicles. There are several vehicles classified as farm vehicles which you should know. They include; Semi-truck trailers, dump trucks, flatbeds, semi-truck tractors, and grain trucks all above 1 ton. Others include any farm passenger trucks for full-time farmers.

Does a farm truck need to have a DOT number?

If you are operating a truck or any farm vehicles on a private farm, you don’t need to have a DOT (Department of Transport) number. For those hired to operate on land by farm owners, you need to have a CDL. Also, if you own or operate farms in more than one state, you will need to get a DOT number for your farm vehicles, since you might be using them to move supplies and produce across different states.

More considerations

Besides being a farm vehicle, you need to put into consideration additional factors such as the weight of the vehicle, and its use on the farm. Any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds will require you to file for the number. For instance, if you use your truck to carry more than 10 passengers (workers) to and from the farm without compensation or transport pesticides and fertilizers, you will also need to get a DOT number.

Remember, your safety comes first. Getting a Dot number involves screening the drivers’ skills and physical fitness for operating the vehicle. As long as you operate on major highways, you will need it. Besides, vehicles, delivery trucks, semi-trucks are commercial vehicles for which a DOT number is mandatory. Also, keep in mind that these regulations may differ in various states.

How big of a truck can you drive without a CDL?

Any trucks below 26,000 whether loaded or not doesn’t require you to have a CDL. For instance, your truck could be 11,000pounds, and you can load it with 15,000more pounds and still not require a CDL. The rules are, however, different when the truck gets combined with a trailer. The total weight of the combination should not exceed 26,000 and 10,000 pounds if you want to operate without a CDL.

Also, you don’t require a CDL if the truck in the combination is 26,000 pounds and the trailer 10,000 pounds. Each of them should not be overloaded. Any farm vehicles or trucks beyond 26,000 pounds require the operator to have a federal CDL.  State Gross Vehicle Weight rates (GVWR) may differ but in most countries and states the maximum is 26,000 pounds.

How old should you be to drive a tractor on the road?

Can You Drive a Farm Truck Without a License?

The legal age for driving a tractor on the road is between 16 and 17 years of age. A 16-year-old can drive one, but not those exceeding 2.45m total width. Most old tractors are above 150hp and got manufactured in the last 2 decades which means that they exceed the maximum width. 

Most youngsters get accustomed to driving tractors from their family farms, which is ok if the tractor is small and old. If you want to drive a tractor of any size, you would have to turn 17 old. 

Then you can acquire a standard driving license category B after passing your driving test. As long as you are 17 years and above, you can operate a tractor weighing 31 tons.

Ideally, it is all about the tractor sizes and types.  As mentioned earlier, the maximum weight of a trailer or a truck-trailer combination for 17-year-olds is 31. Additionally, teens can’t drive tracked tractors on public or public roads. For these, you need to be 21 years old and above.  

Other types of tractors you can’t operate until you are 21 include self-propelled foragers and sprayers. Usually, insurers won’t cover any minors below 21, since it’s illegal for youngsters to operate such machinery. 

It is, therefore, important for farmers or farm owners to check and verify the kind of machinery their employees or family members qualify to drive on highways.

Do farmers need a CDL to haul their grain?

Farmers need to have CDLs, whether they are hauling as commercial truckers or private crops, it is a requirement that farmers should have or get a CDL. Farmers are expected to observe all the rules and regulations regarding operating these kinds of machinery. 

Any farmer found at fault and in violation of the CDL regulations tastes the full wrath of the law, which may include serving a jail term or paying a penalty of above $5,000 and additional state charges.

When hauling your crop on your farm, you do it under your plate cover and get insured under your farm’s insurance. Farmers ought to be more proactive in ensuring that their machinery gets annual inspections which are not mandatory but very essential for CFVs. 

In doing so, the farmer prevents accidents caused by faulty vehicles and negligence. Also, ensuring that the trucks get operated by licensed personnel can save farm owners the trouble of losing their property in lawsuits in case of accidents. 

Farm trucks get exempted from most transport regulations, but this should not stop the farm owners from maintaining their vehicles and getting them inspected as they ought. This is because the farmers are held accountable by the law, in case their vehicles injure or kill other people.

Farmers may operate their hauling trucks without a CDL on their farms while observing the 150-mile distance range.

Farm plate restrictions

Can You Drive a Farm Truck Without a License?

For your truck to qualify for a farm plate, there are several restrictions or conditions that you get. First, your truck, trailer, or tractor needs to be exclusively used for farm operations. The activities may include hauling farm products, livestock, farm inputs, workers, or household items. 

In case the truck gets used to transport products for another farmer it should be free of charge without compensation. You can, however, charge other farmers to haul their farm products, supplies, and equipment during November, September, and October.

It is worth noting that not all vehicles qualify for farm plates. Only trucks (commercial vehicles) are eligible. Your passenger vehicles like minivans and SUVs do not qualify for farm plates. Also,

Farm-plated vehicles have no distance limits. You can transport your products beyond your state.

You can use your farm-plated truck in a tree nursery, greenhouse farms, and other farm operations for transportation. You can use it to transport farmworkers, crops, trees, and plants only from the location of the harvest to a retail or wholesale store but not beyond those outlets.

Trucks or vehicles with farm plates cannot be for hire. Individuals, corporations, and companies or their employees can operate the vehicles without any restrictions.

You are not allowed to transport stone, gravel, logs, sand, and pulpwood using the vehicles. As mentioned earlier, you can transport farm produce except for products preserved through smoking, pickling, cooking, freezing, and curing, excluding cured tobacco.

Plate restrictions for dangerous products

For dangerous products, you can only transport single container pesticides above 450 liters but not exceeding 6,000litres, and the distance should be up to 100 km. You should transport Diesel and gasoline in approved containers, open pickup trucks, or vehicles, while securely mounted. 

The fuel in the containers should not exceed 2000 liters, with each gallon holding 100gallons/454 liters. Dangerous goods exclude radioactive material, flammable and toxic gases, explosives, and infectious substances.