Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Secretary, Department of Transportation
Inspection and Safety Requirements for Implements of Husbandry
Implements of husbandry are exempt from annual safety inspection requirements. Implements of husbandry are not required to be equipped with horns, front and rear bumpers, or rear view mirrors unless they are originally so equipped by the manufacturer. (Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Chapter 45 and Chapter 47.)
Commercial implements of husbandry with an implement of husbandry body type are exempt from annual safety inspection requirements. All other commercial implements of husbandry are subject to annual safety inspection requirements.
Registered commercial implements of husbandry under 17,000 pounds are subject to annual Pennsylvania safety inspection, while those over 17,000 pounds must be inspected semi-annually.
Daylight Hours - Implements of husbandry that are operated on highways between sunrise and sunset and not during periods of reduced visibility are exempt from lighting requirements. The same is true of any vehicle that is towed by an implement, if the towed vehicle is properly displaying a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem.
Nighttime Hours - Implements operated on highways at nighttime must be equipped with a headlamp, rear lamp, hazard lamp and reflector system that meet the requirements of PennDOTís regulations and have this system in operation. Any vehicle towed at nighttime by an implement will also be required to be properly equipped with a rear lamp and hazard lamp system and have this system in operation. Implements used exclusively for crops or nutrients being transported at night will also be required to be equipped with and have and operate at least one flashing or revolving yellow light or yellow strobe light, which shall be mounted to provide visibility to vehicles approaching from any direction, 360 degree visibility, regardless of the method of mounting and hazard signal lamps.
Driverís License Requirements
A person is not required to have a driverís license to operate an implement of husbandry on a road, but a person must be at least 14 years of age to do so. Persons ages 16 and older are not restricted as to where they may operate the implement. Persons ages 14 or 15 may only operate on roads in the immediate vicinity of the farm.
Rules of the Road
Any implement of husbandry designed to operate at 25 miles per hour or less must properly display a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem on the rear of the vehicle. Also because implements of husbandry are normally operated at speeds below the speeds of normal traffic, drivers of implements must abide by several rules that apply to slower traffic. When normal traffic is impeded, Chapter 33 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code requires the operator to operate the implement toward right edge of the roadway, and operate on the berm or shoulder of the roadway when it is reasonable and safe to do so. The driver operating on the berm or shoulder may only return to the road when it can be done so safely and will not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.