Farm Equipment & Highways

Dimensions & Rules
As many of you are aware, there have been incidents were persons have recently been charged with having over-dimensional farm equipment on a highway without a permit. These charges were laid under Section 4(m)(iii) of the Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation and resulted in a $230 fine to the individual.

Under the current legislation, the maximum length of farm equipment or combination of farm equipment is set at 23 metres, or 75 feet. Today's modern equipment certainly can easily exceed this maximum limit. This problem has been recognized and will be addressed in upcoming changes to the current legislation.

The following is an excerpt of a recent bulletin received.

Alberta transportation has advised that changes to a regulation guiding the weight and dimension of agriculture equipment being transported on Alberta's highways are being undertaken. This regulation exists under the Traffic Safety Act and consequently applies to all roads in Alberta, including roads maintained by rural municipalities. The regulation has been in place since 1998 and no longer reflects the size of modern farm equipment.

New Dimensions Discussion
To resolve this issue, the department will be amending the regulations to accommodate current farm equipment requirements. The length is to be increased to 30.5 metres (100 feet) from the current limit of 23 metres (75 feet). This increase in length will accommodate a farm tractor pulling a combination of an air seeder, tank and, harrows, or a long grain auger. The height is to be increased to 5.0 metres (16 feet 4 inches) from the current limit of 4.15 metres (13 feet 6 inches) to accommodate the actual height of farm equipment (note that height cannot be unlimited due to power lines). Farm equipment will continue to be exempted from width.

However, since the changes have not yet been made, many farmers cannot transport their equipment without being in violation of current regulations. To accommodate this, Alberta Transportation has advised that dimension permits are available to allow farm equipment to be operated if it exceeds the current limits for length (23 metres) or height (4.15 metres) until the regulations can be amended.

Permit for Farmers
For farmers, there is no fee for the dimension permit. In addition, one permit will cover all farm equipment owned by the farm, meaning there is no need to list each piece of equipment on the permit. To obtain a permit, farmers are asked to call the Permit Office at 800-662-7138.

Permit for Commercial or Custom Operators
It is our understanding that there will be a permit fee for commercial or custom operators. Likewise, if a truck is hauling grain for hire or transporting farm equipment for custom operations, the truck is required to follow the commercial vehicle rules and may require a permit to temporarily change the vehicle registration from a farm plate to a commercial plate. There is a fee for the registration permit.

The intent of this policy is to increase the current regulation requirements to be more reflective of modern farm equipment. Alberta Transportation will work with all farmers and other agricultural enterprises to assist them with the transition. "

As noted, these changes have not yet been implemented and all farmers are encouraged to contact the Permit Office at 800-662-7138 to arrange for you no fee permit for your equipment before the farming season starts.