Kristen Schulte, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist
It is important to occasionally review Iowa Department of Transportation guidelines when hauling and moving agriculture implements and commodities. The following guidelines are taken from the Iowa Department of Transportation Truck Information Guide; this publication can be accessed from www.iowadot.gov/mvd/omve. Additional questions should be directed to the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, 800-925-6469.
Lighting and Reflectors
Motor trucks, truck-tractors, semi-trailers, and any other commercial motor vehicle must meet light and reflector requirements as outlined by federal regulations (FMCSR Part 393.11). Additionally, farm trailers are subject to the same lighting and safety regulations as registered trailers. Non-commercial vehicles, farm trailers, and implements must meet requirements below and maintain the lighting and reflectors which they were equipped with when manufactured.
At all times between sunset and sunrise when operated on a public highway, self-propelled implements shall be equipped with at minimum the following lighting:
- One lighted white headlamp visible to the front;
- One lighted red tail lamp visible to the rear; and
- One lighted amber flashing light visible to the rear.
At all times between sunset and sunrise when operated on a public highway, towed implements shall be equipped with at minimum the following lighting:
- One lighted red tail lamp visible to the rear, located at the rear of the rearmost towed implement; and
- If the visibility of the lighted amber flashing light on the towing implement is obstructed to the rear by the towed implement or cargo, an additional lighted amber flashing light located at the rear of the rearmost towed implement.
The required light devises must be visible from a distance of 500 feet. These lighting requirements are in addition to the slow moving vehicle sign requirement of farm tractors or equipment operating at speeds less than 35 miles per hour.
Towing Implements of Husbandry
Any vehicle requiring registration when towing any other vehicle or implement on the highway is required to be equipped with and use a drawbar and safety chain. When two implements are in tow, a drawbar must be used and a safety chain is not required but recommended.
Raw agriculture products include commodities such as, but not limited to, ag lime, grain, hay, livestock, raw milk, straw, and fruit. Implements of husbandry include vehicles or equipment designed for reconstructed for agricultural purpose and used exclusively in an agricultural operation. It includes farm tractors, combines, grain carts, wagons, or fenceline feeders (referred to as implements).
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