SA night moves for machinery

A review on South Australia’s night machinery movement laws could provide farmers with exemptions to shift large agricultural vehicles after the sun goes down. Source: Murray Valley Standard

Primary Producers SA is currently seeking feedback on the possible change as part of the State’s 90-day Transport Project, which started in December 2014.

Since then South Australian primary producers have identified a number of transport hotspots and regulatory issues experienced across the regions and the State government has begun addressing them in consultation with local farmers.

PPSA chairman Rob Kerin said there had already been significant changes made under the project, netting tens of millions of dollars in savings for primary producers in transport costs.

“Movement of machinery on public roads is the next issue to be identified as an impediment to farming with modern machinery,” he said.

“Because of the requirement for grain harvesting to be carried out at night, the proposal is to extend a night travel exemption to all agricultural machines and combinations.

“At present, the only oversize agricultural machines that are allowed to travel on public roads at night are grape harvesters and canola windrowers.”

But Brinkley farmer Michael Williss said the move would not necessarily benefit Murraylands farmers, especially in the south, as crop moisture usually dropped when the sun went down.

“It’s not a big issue here because it’s colder,” he said. “Every area has got different temperatures so their ability to reap through the night changes; there’s only five or six nights a year here where you push for midnight or thereabouts.

“Here we tend to pull up at nightfall and then come out in the morning and move (the machinery) and then fire away at about 10.30am.”

A discussion paper on night movement of machinery is currently out for comment, providing three options for producer feedback.

Farmers can choose between two different night travel exemptions for ag machines and combinations, or to maintain the status quo.

Visit to provide feedback.