Wisconsin’s Lighting and Marking Requirements for Wide Implements of Husbandry


The
state of Wisconsin has lighting and marking
requirements for all agricultural equipment vehicles. These requirements help to identify
large agricultural implements that commonly travel at slower speeds and are larger than
most motor vehicles, when they are on the highways. Wisconsin has lighting and marking
requirements for agricultural equipment wider than 12 feet, in excess of 15 feet wide, or
any equipment that crosses over the center line of the roadway. These requirements are
in effect at all times that the agricultural equipment is operated on a roadway that may
be shared with other vehicles. Wisconsin has lighting and marking requirements
for all agricultural equipment vehicles and farm tractors. Watch the DOT’s video on Lighting
and Marking Requirements for Implements of Husbandry for these requirements. The requirements
covered in this video are IN ADDITION TO the requirements covered in that video. Those
requirements include working headlights, working taillights, and a slow moving vehicle emblem.
All self-propelled agricultural equipment and farm tractors wider than 12 feet must
have a 360-degree yellow or amber rotating strobe or beacon light, mounted at the highest
practical point. Alternatively, the equipment may have two flashing amber lights visible
to the front and rear, mounted as wide as practical. Whichever lights are present must
be activated at all times when the vehicle is on a roadway or parked in the right of
way. All other standard lighting and markings are
also required: headlights, taillights and slow-moving vehicle emblem.
“Wide” agricultural equipment is defined not only by the equipment’s width, but also includes
equipment that extends over the center of the roadway. Operators should take note that
road widths vary. Standard lane width for county and state roadways marked with a center
line is 11 feet. If a piece of farm equipment is 12 feet wide, but running on a roadway
with lanes that are only 11 feet wide, the equipment must meet the new “wide” lighting
and marking standards. Some town roads have lanes that are 9 feet wide, making any farm
tractor or implement wider than 9 feet subject to these wide lighting and marking requirements.
Best practice is “Know your route, know your road.” Plan ahead, take safety precautions,
and be sure to have all the required lights and markings. Bring attention to the fact
that you are driving a wide implement of husbandry. Agricultural equipment on the roadway that
is wider than 15 feet or that extends over the center of the roadway must have a rotating
strobe or amber warning lights. The equipment must also have the following lighting and
markings, visible and activated AT ALL TIMES. At least 2 amber flashing warning lamps, visible
from both the front and the rear, mounted to indicate the extreme width, and mounted
no more than 16 inches from the extreme right and left.
At least two strips of yellow retroreflective material, visible to the front and mounted
within 16 inches of the extreme left and right of the vehicle.
Red retroreflective material, visible to the rear, mounted at the widest practicable point,
within 25 inches of the extreme left and extreme right of the vehicle, spaced as evenly as
practical. At least 2 red tail lamps are also necessary,
mounted to the rear, or as close to the rear as practical. These lamps do not need not
be hardwired to the vehicle; they can be battery powered, secondary accessories.
Implements of husbandry wider than 22 feet must have a slow moving vehicle emblem and
a yellow or amber strobe or beacon light or two flashing amber lights, visible to the
front and rear, mounted at the highest practicable point. Implements of husbandry wider than
22 feet must also have all the lighting and markings required for equipment that is 15
wide. This includes: At least 2 amber flashing warning lamps, visible
from both the front and the rear, mounted to indicate the extreme width, and mounted
no more than 16 inches from the extreme right and left.
At least two strips of yellow retroreflective material, visible to the front and mounted
within 16 inches of the extreme left and right of the vehicle.
Red retroreflective material, visible to the rear, mounted at the widest practicable point,
within 25 inches of the extreme left and extreme right of the vehicle, spaced as evenly as
practical. At least 2 red tail lamps are also necessary,
mounted to the rear, or as close to the rear as practical. These lamps do not need not
be hardwired to the vehicle; they can be battery powered, secondary accessories.
Implements of husbandry wider than 22 feet must also have an escort vehicle if they will
be traveling on a highway for more than half a mile. On highways with one lane of traffic
in each direction, the escort vehicle needs to drive in front of the wide farm vehicle,
with its hazards flashing. On highways with more than one lane of traffic
in each direction or on a 3-lane highway, the escort vehicle will drive behind the wide
farm vehicle, with hazards flashing. The same lighting and marking requirements
for a self-propelled farm tractor, such as a combine, apply to towed equipment that is
15 feet and wider or that extends over the center of the roadway. These requirements
include: At least 2 amber flashing warning lamps, visible
from both the front and the rear, mounted to indicate the extreme width, and mounted
no more than 16 inches from the extreme right and left.
At least two strips of yellow retroreflective material, visible to the front and mounted
within 16 inches of the extreme left and right of the vehicle.
Red retroreflective material, visible to the rear and mounted within 25 inches of the extreme
left and extreme right of the vehicle, space as evenly as practical.
At least 2 red tail lamps, mounted to the rear, or as close to the rear as practical.
These lamps do not need not be hardwired to the vehicle; they can be battery powered,
secondary accessories. Wide towed equipment must also have working
taillights and slow moving emblem at the rear. Implements of husbandry are often transported
by trailer. When trailered, wide implements of husbandry must have an amber strobe or
beacon or two flashing amber warning lights, as discussed above, activated when transported
or when the vehicle is in the right of way. The trailered equipment must also have amber
flashers marking the lateral extremes, activated at all times the equipment is being transported
or parked in the right of way. Orange flags are not required, but can be
mounted on the rear to bring attention to the oversized vehicle load. Wide IoH are allowed
to be trailered on the interstate, but if the trailered load is wider than 8 and a half
feet, an oversized permit from the DOT is required.
Wisconsin’s lighting requirements for implements of husbandry are intended to increase visibility,
promote safety, and raise awareness. Flashers, strobes, retroreflective tape, and slow moving
vehicle emblems emphasize the characteristics that make agricultural vehicles different
from the other large vehicles on the road. Each lighting and marking requirement discussed
in this video is intended to promote safety and emphasize that wide farm implements are
unique and need to be approached with caution. Thank you for watching. Please visit the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation’s website for more information on operating implements of
husbandry on Wisconsin roadways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *