New Standards for Farm Equipment Visibility
July 8, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation on June 22 published a final rule standardizing lighting and agricultural equipment on highways that incorporates two American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers standards.

The focus of this ruling will mostly be geared toward new equipment. Old equipment is not required to update and manufactures have a year to comply with the standards - until June 22, 2017.

Some of the requirements in the new ruling include, for tractors and self-propelled equipment:
  • Two head lamps, two red tail lamps and at least two flashing amber warning lights must be mounted at the same height and spaced laterally as wide as possible.
  • At least two flashing amber warning lights visible from both front and rear must be used when the machine is at least 12 feet wide.
  • Turn signals must be provided.
  • One slow moving vehicle (SMV) identification emblem must be installed on the machine.
For non self-propelled equipment:
  • Equipment that obscures the SMV emblem of the propelling machine must be equipped with an additional visible SMV emblem.
  • Equipment that extends past the sides of the propelling machine must have strips of reflective material visible from the front and back depending on the length of projection.
  • Equipment that obscures tail lamps, flashing warning lamps or turn signals, must be fitted with appropriate lighting to take place of those obscured lamps or signals.
The definition will apply to new agricultural equipment operated on a public road, specifically defined as ''any road or street under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel.'' Personal equipment used primarily by homeowners, such as lawn tractors and lawn mowers, is not included in this ruling.

Reprinted in part from Farm and Dairy