Farm work frequently requires the use of equipment and machinery to complete day-to-day tasks. Though some types of farming equipment do not require to be driven, equipment such as tractors, combines, and sprayers do. Yet not all farm workers are able to possess a valid driver's license. With the operation of farming equipment being essential to the farm, many wonder, can you drive farm equipment without a license?
At Avonlea Farm Sales Ltd, we understand the needs of farmers as we were founded by farmers in 1988. We know that driving of farming equipment is essential for many farm operations. However, not everyone who works on a farm is able to hold a driver's license. From children of farmers who work on their family farm to labourers from foreign countries, there are times when unlicensed operators may need to drive farm equipment. In this post, we outline the basics of what all farmers should know about operating farming equipment without a license.
We always recommend reviewing local laws to ensure that you are meeting the requirements set out by law. You may also wish to seek advice from your insurance provider to be certain that you are covered under your policy for the intended use.
Farming equipment such as tractors, combines, sprayers, and harvesters do not require a license to operate as they are considered Self-propelled implements of husbandry (SPIH). This means that these types of farming equipment can be operated on a highway without a license or license plate. Keep in mind that the operator must be at least 16 years of age in most circumstances when driving on a highway. When not being operated on a highway, drivers may be under the age of 16 in some circumstances.
Keep in mind farming trucks, such as pickup trucks, are not considered to be SPIH and are instead classified as motor vehicles. These trucks must have license plates and should be operated by licensed drivers. As always, it is best to consult with your insurance provider and read up on local laws to ensure you are covered.
Many farms rely on temporary foreign agricultural workers to keep up with the demands of seasonal work. As many foreign workers do not possess licenses that would be required to operate a motor vehicle, some wonder if it is legal to operate farming equipment such as tractors and harvesters. Like non-licensed Canadian workers, foreign workers are allowed to operate farming equipment when doing so in relation to their occupation.
Understanding the regulations surrounding who can operate farming equipment can feel overwhelming. See information from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for an in-depth look into what is required to operate farm implements on a road.