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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Default Driving tractor on public roads

    Wondering if anybody knows the legalities around driving a subCUT or CUT tractor on public roads. I know farm tractors, backhoes etc. can drive on public roads because I see them doing it all the time. I am have no idea however if you need to have the tractor registered in some fashion or if there is some special laws because a tractor is considered a farm implement or something. I live in MA so anybody with knowledge of the laws in that state would be especially helpful. I am just wondering because I have friends who live within a couple of miles and I am sure that they will be asking about getting jobs done with my new tractor but I don't as of yet have a trailer to haul the thing around on.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Baldwinsville, NY (10 miles NW of Syracuse)
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    JD 4310, ehydro, 4WD, R4s

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    Jim,

    If you want to be real sure, just contact the local police department or sheriff. Personally I don't think you would have a problem with it as long as you weren't impeding traffic, driving unsafely or driving long distances.

    I do recall reading that a local man was arrested for DWI for driving his lawn tractor on the road after having one too many.

    Jeff

  3. #3
    LarryRB
    Guest

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    backhoes have to be registered in Mass to be on the roads,

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    Here in NH technically you need to have at least a NH tag and SMV sign. Practically speaking (in my town) the police wont stop you if you dont have tags or a SMV sign...unless youre doing something really boneheaded. That said I really like to keep the road trips to a minimum b/c fast cars and slow tractors just dont mix well.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Location
    Western NC, Henderson Co.
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    Kioti LK3054XS, Kubota B4200, MF 255, MF 50E

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    If I am reading this correctly, MA does not require registration of farm equipment used on highways ( MA vehicle registration exemptions (page 17)

    I can't find any regulations listed for farm equip on highways, but in our area, any farm equipment that is on a public highway is supposed to have a Slow Moving Vehicle emblem (the bright orange triangle) attached to the back, and operate with headlights and flashers. I would assume that this includes CUTs and sub-CUTs.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota B3200 w/ BH77 & 12", 18" & 24" buckets, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660, Artillian Fork frame, Extreme 3pt rake, Concrete Mixer, MyTractorTools grapple adapter

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    Looks like they consider a tractor an "implement of husbandry" and it is not required to be titled - which would by extension I believe that it does not have to be registered. I know that the construction backhoes I see traveling the roads do not typically have the SMV triangle on them. All of the subCUT's and CUT's I have seen always have the SMV included when you buy them which is what made me wonder what their legal status was. You also do not see the SMV's on tractors that are considered lawn and garden tractors. I will have to make a trip over to the local police station and ask a few questions.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Central Michigan
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    Here in Michigan farm tractors do not need to be registered to operate on public roads, but they have to display a SMV emblem on the tractor and/or towed implements and wagons.

    I suggest you check with your homeowners insurance agent to learn if the tractor is covered if you take it off your property. My policy (AAA) covers my tractor ONLY if it is on my residence premises. There have been numerous discussions on insurance coverage in several forums.

  8. #8
    Super Member Henro's Avatar
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    Few miles north of Pgh, PA
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    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    <font color="blue"> I will have to make a trip over to the local police station and ask a few questions. </font>

    Jim...

    I could not help but remember something that a guy I used to work for/with used to say:

    "Don't ask a question you don't want to hear the answer to."

    I think our CUTs are technically "implements of husbandry" and being in the same postion as you, I personally decided I was not going to ask the local police.

    The main reason was because I expect they would wrongly tell me I could not drive on the road, and then when they saw me they would remember they told me and would stop me and hassle me and time on both sides would be wasted...

    So I decided that when I drive on the road I will just print out the "implement of husbandry" part of the motor vehicle code and carry it with me in case I am stopped.

    That will work for me...not sure it it will work for you...but thought I would mention it... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota B3200 w/ BH77 & 12", 18" & 24" buckets, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660, Artillian Fork frame, Extreme 3pt rake, Concrete Mixer, MyTractorTools grapple adapter

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    Thanks for the answers - I didn't even think of the insurance thing jdgreen. I actually had the same thoughts as you too Henro - if I was ever to actually try and drive the thing somewhere I figured I would do something like go early on a weekend morning or something when there is no traffic and if the police saw me have the appropriate paperwork. Thing is I didn't know what the law actually was although I suspected that since a tractor is an agricultural implement or whatever the legal term is it does not have to be registered. There are a few small farms in my suburban town and I see a tractor go up and down my street very occasionally so I figured the police would be at least somewhat familiar with the legalities around this.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    western WA
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    sold PT-425

    Default Re: Driving tractor on public roads

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( The main reason was because I expect they would wrongly tell me I could not drive on the road )</font>

    That would be my concern as well. Doubt anyone in the constable's office would take the time to scour over the DMV statutes when it's a lot quicker to just shoot from the hip and say "no, you can't do that."

    If you've done your homework, and you can reasonably interpret the statute(s) in your favor, IMHO I would simply make a copy, keep it with you and go about your business of moving the UT on the road in a safe and expedient manner. [I am not a lawyer, and this is MHO, not legal advice].

    If you get stopped, another of grandpa's rules applies: <font color="brown"> "better to ask for forgiveness than for permission." </font>

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