Moving Farm Equipment Safely

For more information on moving farm equipment safely, call the toll free number : 1-877-812-0009

In 2002, Manitoba Hydro reported 68 incidents of farm equipment, such as air seeders and cultivators, making contact with overhead power lines. While some of these were farmyard incidents, many occurred when this equipment was being moved on Manitoba highways.

The legal dimensions for all vehicles, including implements of husbandry, are defined by the Highway Traffic Act and pursuant regulations. Vehicles exceeding these dimensions require a permit when operated on provincial highways. Additional approvals are required from Hydro and Manitoba Telecom Services when equipment exceeds their specified heights. When municipal roads are involved applicants are advised to contact the appropriate municipality.

The purpose of these dimensional restrictions is to protect the operator from coming into contact with hazards such as electrical wires, to protect Manitoba's investment in infrastructure such as bridges and structures, and to protect the motoring public. Permits provide routing and conditions to safely move this equipment.

Allowable Dimensions for Farm Implements and Other Vehicles

When your vehicle, equipment or load exceeds the following dimensions, a permit is required from Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation in order to protect everyone using provincial highways.

Height: 4.15 m (13’ 7”)

Additional approvals are required from Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS):

  • when the height is over 4.8 m (15’ 7") the operator must contact Manitoba Hydro for route approval
  • when the height is over 4.6 m (15’ 1”), the operator must contact MTS for route approval

Manitoba Hydro and MTS will inspect the route and determine what actions are required. These utilities must relay this information to Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation before a permit will be issued. Manitoba Hydro and MTS will assist the permit holder to ensure safe movement of the over-dimensional equipment, as needed.

Length: Single units - 12.5 m (4l’)
One articulation (or hitch), total length: 21.5 m (70’ 6”)
Two or more articulations, total length: 23 m (75’ 5”)
Width: 2.6 m (8’ 6”)

Note: Where an implement is operated or drawn upon a highway by a farmer for farm purposes, there is no requirement to obtain a permit for exceeding this width.

For assistance in determining how your equipment measures up, contact your local Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer or call Motor Carrier Enforcement to make an appointment for an on-site assessment.

If you have concerns about clearance to overhead powerlines, contact your local Manitoba Hydro district office for assistance in measuring lines and planning a safe route.

Other Potential Hazards

Large machinery also has the potential to make contact with railway signals and signage. Damage to these types of infrastructures can create hazards. If you spot damaged railway equipment, contact the Canadian National Railway (CNR) or Canadian National Railway (CPR) immediately.

Following these guidelines will help you and others on your farm stay safe:

  • always know your route before transporting tall equipment
  • look up and make overhead safety a priority
  • remember that cultivators, air seeders and grain augers make contact with overhead powerlines most often
  • move slowly and carefully when transporting tall equipment. Constantly check to make sure that ample clearances are maintained
  • never allow anyone to ride on top of moving farm equipment or hay bales under no circumstances should anyone but trained Hydro staff attempt to lift powerlines
  • never transport metal elevators, metal irrigation pipe or metal ladders near powerlines
  • granaries and other farm buildings should be located at least nine metres (30’) from overhead powerlines
  • be aware of other vehicles on the road

Look Up. Stay Clear. Stay Alive.

This new farm safety program provides guidelines for the safe movement of oversized and in particular, overheight equipment in Manitoba.

Telephone Number Contact List

Manitoba Hydro
contact your local district office

(204) 474-4990

MTS Business

(204) 225‑4249

Motor Carrier Permits & Development:

(204) 945-3961

Motor Carrier Enforcement

(204) 945-3890

Canadian National Railway

(cell phone: press * then CNR)

Enforcement Farm Safety Program

1-800-282-8069 ext. 2315

For more farm safety information, please visit:

Questions concerning the lighting and marking requirements on agricultural equipment should be directed to Vehicle Standards and Inspections at (204) 948-0920 or toll free at 1-866-323-0542.