Chapter 16: Special Equipment
Chapter 16 Special Equipment (SE)
This chapter contains special equipment (SE) identification (ID) requirements and procedures.
Cemetery (CVC §4012)—Any vehicle, implement, or equipment specifically designed or altered for and used exclusively in the maintenance or operation of cemetery grounds, which is only incidentally operated or moved on a highway.
Farm Tractor Used for Towing (CVC §36015)—Implement of husbandry includes any farm tractor, otherwise an implement of husbandry, used upon a highway to draw a farm trailer, carrying farm produce, or to draw any trailer or semitrailer carrying other implements of husbandry, between farms, or from a farm to a processing or handling point and returning with or without the trailer.
Farm Trailer (CVC §36010)—A farm trailer is either of the following:
- A trailer or semitrailer owned and operated by a farmer in the conduct of agricultural operations, and used exclusively to transport agricultural products upon the highways to the point of first handling and return.
- A trailer or semitrailer equipped with rollers on the bed, with a frame not taller than 10 inches high, and with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) rating of 10,000 pounds or less, that is owned, rented, or leased by a farmer and operated by that farmer in the conduct of agricultural operations, used exclusively to transport fruit and vegetables upon the highway to the point of first handling and return, and that was manufactured and in use prior to January 1, 1997. These vehicles may also be operated on the highways without a load for the purpose of delivering a rented or leased vehicle to the renting or leasing farmer’s farm, or returning empty to the owner’s premises.
Farm Vehicles (CVC §36101)—The following farm vehicles are exempt from registration provided they have and display an SE plate as specified in CVC §5014. These vehicles are not implements of husbandry and are subject to all equipment and device requirements as if registered.
- An oversized farm vehicle requiring a permit under CVC §35780, owned y operated by a farmer, designed y used exclusively for carrying feed and seed products of farming from one part of a farm to another part thereof, or from one farm to another farm and returning empty (CVC §36101(a)) (formerly referred to as Oversize Feed and Seed Motor Vehicle).
- A vehicle equipped with a water tank owned by a farmer and used exclusively to service the farmer’s own implements of husbandry (CVC §36101(b)).
- A water tank truck, which is owned by a farmer, not operated for compensation, and used extensively in the conduct of agricultural operations, when used exclusively for sprinkling water on dirt roads providing access to agricultural fields or transportation of water for irrigation of crops or trees (CVC §36101(c)).
- A modular mover as defined in CVC §§36012 and 36101(d)).
- A trailer equipped with a plenum chamber for the drying of agricultural commodities (CVC §36101(e)).
- Except as provided in CVC §36005 (j), a trap wagon, as defined in CVC §36016, which is equipped with a fuel tank or tanks. The fuel tank or tanks cannot exceed 3000 gallons total capacity (CVC §36101(f)).
- A forklift truck, operated by a farmer not for compensation. For purposes of this section a hay-squeeze shall be considered a forklift (CVC §36101(g)).
- A truck tractor or truck tractor and semitrailer combination which is owned by a farmer and operated on the highways only incidental to a farming operation and not for compensation (CVC §36101(h)).
This definition applies only to truck tractors with a manufacturer’s GVW rating over 10,000 pounds that are equipped with all-wheel drive and off-highway traction tires on all wheels, and only to semitrailers used in combination with such a truck tractor and exclusively in the production or harvesting of melons. These vehicles shall not be operated in excess of 25 miles per hour on the highways. These vehicles may be prohibited by law from operating on specific routes.
In order to maintain the exemption from registration granted under CVC §36101 for a truck tractor, when combined with a semitrailer, the owner of the truck tractor shall not operate it during the exemption period in any manner other than as a cotton module mover, as defined in CVC §36012, and shall do all of the following:
- Register the vehicle before operating it as a commercial motor vehicle.
- Apply annually to renew the exemption from registration. Refer to Truck Tractor/Semitrailer Combination Cotton Module Mover section in this chapter for procedures.
These vehicles are exempt from payment of the vehicle license fee (VLF) and weight fees, but must pay the registration fee required under CVC §9250.1, the law enforcement fee required under CVC §9250.8, and the CHP fee required under CVC §9250.13 each year.
• A motor vehicle specifically designed for, and used exclusively in, an agricultural operation for purposes of carrying, or returning empty from carrying, silage and is operated by a farmer, an employee of the farmer, or a contracted employee of the farmer between one part of a farm to another part of that farm or from one farm to another farm, on a highway for a distance not to exceed 20 miles from the point of origin of the trip. This does not include a vehicle that is used for transportation of silage for retail sales. For purposes of this definition, “silage” includes field corn, sorghum, grass, legumes, cereals or cereal mixes, either green or mature, converted into feed for livestock (CVC §36101(i)).
Farm vehicles shall not be operated on the highway:
- Laden for more than two miles from the point of origin.
- Unladen for more than 30 miles from the point of origin.
- Unladen for more than 15 miles from the point of origin, unless accompanied by an escort vehicle to the front and rear.
Farm vehicles do not have the same equipment requirements as implements of husbandry.
Implements of Husbandry (CVC §§36000 and 36005)—A vehicle which is used exclusively in the conduct of agricultural operations.
Vehicles that are designed primarily for transportation of persons or property on a highway are not implements of husbandry unless they are specifically designated as such by other provisions of the California Vehicle Code.
Implement of husbandry includes, but is not limited to:
- A lift carrier or other vehicle designed and used exclusively for the lifting and carrying of implements of husbandry or tools used exclusively for the production or harvesting of agricultural products, when operated or moved upon a highway (CVC §36005(a)).
- A trailer of the tip-bed type when used exclusively in the transportation of other implements of husbandry or tools used exclusively for the production or harvesting of agricultural products (CVC §36005(b)).
- A trailer or semitrailer having no bed, and designed and used solely for transporting a hay loader or swather (CVC §36005(c)).
- A spray or fertilizer applicator rig used exclusively for spraying or fertilizing in the conduct of agricultural operations. Excluded from this definition are anhydrous ammonia fertilizer applicator rigs which have a transportation capacity in excess of 500 gallons (CVC §36005(d)).
- A trailer or semitrailer which has a maximum transportation capacity in excess of 500 gallons, but not more than 1000 gallons, used exclusively for the transportation and application of anhydrous ammonia, if the vehicle is either equipped with operating brakes or is towed upon a highway by a motortruck that is assigned a manufacturer’s GVW rating of 3/4 ton or more. A combination of vehicles is limited to two vehicles operated one behind the other (CVC §36005(e)).
- A nurse rig or equipment auxiliary to the use of and designed or modified for the fueling, repairing, or loading of an applicator rig or an airplane used for the dusting, spraying, fertilizing, or seeding of crops (CVC §36005(f)).
- A row duster (CVC §36005(g)).
- A wagon or van used exclusively for carrying products of farming from one part of a farm to another part thereof, or from one farm to another farm, and used solely for agricultural purposes, including any van used in harvesting alfalfa or cotton, which is only incidentally operated or moved on a highway as a trailer (CVC §36005(h)).
- A wagon or portable house on wheels used solely by shepherds as a permanent residence in connection with sheep raising operations and moved from one part of a ranch to another part thereof or from one ranch to another ranch, which is only incidentally operated or moved on a highway as a trailer (CVC §36005(i)).
- Notwithstanding of CVC §36101(f), a trap wagon, as defined in CVC §36016, moved from one part of a ranch to another part of the same ranch or from one ranch to another, which is only operated or moved on a highway incidental to agricultural operations. The fuel tank or tanks of the trap wagon shall not exceed 1000 gallons total capacity (CVC §36005(j)).
- Any vehicle which is operated upon a highway only for the purpose of transporting agricultural products for a total distance of one mile or less from the point of origin of the trip (CVC §36005(k)).
- A portable honey-extracting trailer or semitrailer (CVC §36005(l)).
- A nonself propelled fertilizer nurse tank or trailer which is moved unladen on the highway and auxiliary to the use of a spray or fertilizer applicator rig (CVC §36005(m)).
- Any cotton trailer when used on the highways for the exclusive purpose of transporting cotton from a farm to a cotton gin, and returning the empty trailer to such farm (CVC §36005(n)) An SE plate is required prior to movement on the highway (CVC §5014).
- A truck tractor or truck tractor and semitrailer combination which is owned by a farmer and operated on the highways only incidental to a farming operation, not for compensation, and for a distance of not more than two miles (on the highway) each way (CVC §36005(o)).