An analysis by Peter Jeffery, OFA Senior Farm Policy Analyst
A few weeks ago, I was asked by an OFA MSR if the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) no longer required an annual safety inspection for livestock trailers. They’d been told that mechanics who did annual safety inspection of trucks & trailers were telling their farm clients that livestock trailers no longer required an annual safety inspection. I asked MTO if this was true.
Annual safety inspections are required for trucks and trailers, alone or in combination, that have a total gross weight, registered gross weight or manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,500 kg (9920 lbs.). In the case of a farm pickup and livestock trailer, if their combined weight (weight of truck plus load plus weight of trailer plus load) is more than 4,500 kg, then both truck and trailer require an annual safety inspection.
Last July, MTO announced that pickup trucks and trailers, used only for personal use, were exempt from the requirements for an annual safety inspection; both the vehicle inspection and the proof of inspection, i.e. the yellow sticker. The key here is personal use. MTO defines personal use as a truck and trailer that is used for personal use without compensation and the pickup and trailer are not carrying commercial cargo or tools or equipment normally used for commercial purposes. Carrying farm-related cargo, tools or equipment would disqualify the truck or truck and trailer as “personal use”.
So, is a farmer’s livestock trailer towed by a pickup exempt from an annual safety inspection?
The answer is, it depends on what you’re carrying in the livestock trailer and where you’re going. If you’re carrying cattle, sheep, goats, swine etc. to a sales barn, abattoir, etc., then the answer is NO. Transporting cattle, sheep, goats, swine etc. to a sales barn, abattoir, etc., is a commercial (farm business-type activity), and your truck and livestock trailer are both required to undergo an annual safety inspection and display proof of inspection, i.e. the yellow sticker. However, if you ride a horse for recreational purposes (e.g. trail ride) then this activity would be a “personal use” activity, and the truck would not require an annual safety inspection and display proof of inspection.
If you use you pickup for both commercial-farm business activities and for personal use activities, and they require an annual safety inspection as commercial-farm business vehicles, they you can tow the recreational horse trailer and the horse trailer itself does not inspection and the proof of inspection.
Here is a link to a Commercial vehicle safety requirements information sheet on MTO’s website: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/commercial-vehicle-safety-requirements.shtml#pickup There are a series of Q&As on pages 6 & 7 of the information sheet that focus on personal use pickups.
For further information:
Senior Farm Policy Analyst
Tel: 519.821.8883 Ext. 206
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Suite 206 – 100 Stone Road West
Guelph, ON N1G 5L3