Modes of Transportation

Farm Machinery: What the Law Says

When travelling on public roadways, farm machinery and combinations of farm vehicles must comply with certain special obligations to ensure the safety of their operators and of other road users.

In brief

What is farm machinery?

Any equipment, whether motorized or not, designed and used solely for agricultural purposes. (CQLR, c. C-24.2, r.29)

Within the meaning of the Highway Safety Code, farm machinery includes, for example, farm tractorsA tractor that is equipped with tires and is generally used for agricultural purposes, whether or not it is authorized for use on public roads. The tractor must belong to an individual or company that owns or leases a farm and whose principal occupation is farming, or that is a member of an association certified under the Farm Producers Act..

What is a combination of farm vehicles?

A combination consisting of a farm machine or a farm motor vehicle, within the meaning of the Regulation respecting road vehicle registration, drawing a farm machine or a farm trailer. (CQLR, c. C-24.2, r. 52.1)

Main obligations

Road safety

Lighting devices

Starting on July 25, 2022, farm trailers, farm machines and trailers used for the exclusive transport of unprocessed timber that meet the conditions specified in section 240.2 of the Highway Safety Code must, when being operatedtravelling at night, be equipped at the rear with at least one red taillight placed as close as possible to the left lateral extremity and visible from a distance of at least 150 metres.

Detachable equipment may be used to replace those lights.

Regulation respecting the visibility and traffic of farm machines wider than 2.6 metres (CQLR, c. C-24.2, r. 52.1)

This regulation came into effect on December 1, 2013 and applies to farmers who own farm machinery or combinations of farm vehicles wider than 2.6  m that travel on roadways (other than highways). It aims to ensure the safety of all road users.

Outsized vehicles

Farm machinery wider than 2.6 m that does not belong to a farmer is considered an outsized vehicle.

Before travelling on a public roadway, find out more about your obligations by visiting the web site of the Ministère des Transports.

Prohibition from operation

Operating farm machinery or a combination of farm vehicles wider than 5.3 m is prohibited:

  • when visibility is less than 500 m
  • in school zones, at class arrival and dismissal times

Mandatory equipment

Farm machinery and combinations of farm vehicles that belong to a farmer, depending on their width, must:

  • be equipped with flashing amber lights
  • be equipped with reflective material
  • be accompanied by 1 or 2 escort vehiclesEither one of the following:1° A vehicle whose gross vehicle weight rating is under 4,500 kg, except a moped, a motorcycle or a three-wheel vehicle2° A vehicle whose gross vehicle weight rating is 4,500 kg or more and whose net mass is 4,000 kg or less that originally had an open truck box and a tailgate or is a sport utility vehicle – ahead or behind – equipped with a rotating amber beacon or light bar

Failure to comply with obligations

Owners and operators of farm machinery or combinations of farm vehicles and escort vehicle drivers who fail to comply with the Regulation are liable to a fine. The list of fines is included in the guide (PDF, 2.4 Mo).

For a clear overview: the guide to the Regulation

To help farmers who own farm machinery or combinations of farm vehicles wider than 2.6 m install the necessary signaling devices, we have prepared the Guide to the Regulation respecting the visibility and traffic of farm machines wider than 2.6 metres (PDF, 2.4 Mo) in cooperation with the Union des producteurs agricoles, the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports and Contrôle routier Québec.

Passing farm machinery

To pass farm machinery, you may encroach upon:

  • a solid single line
  • a solid double line
  • a double line with one solid line and one broken line

However, you may do so only if

  • you can safely carry out the passing manoeuvre.

Registration

Farm machinery – other than tractors used on public roadways – is exempt from vehicle registration.

For more information, see our section on registering a tractor or another farm vehicle.

Driver's licence

The minimum age for operating farm machinery is 16. To operate a farm tractor for agricultural purposes, you must hold at least a Class 8 driver's licence.

For more information, see our section on obtaining a licence to operate a tractor (Class 8).

Last update: July 26, 2022