Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: Hello, I want to work for a farmer during planting and harvest season driving a semi. I have a valid Class D driver’s license but no Commercial Driver’s License. Can I cross a state line while working for the farmer, Minnesota into North Dakota?

Answer: Yes, as long as you stay within 150 air miles of the farm. If you have additional questions regarding commercial motor vehicles please contact

Motorists need to be especially alert when they share the road with farm equipment that is often so large and heavy that accelerating, slowing down and stopping take more time and space than other vehicles. These vehicles also have large blind spots for operators and make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. All these factors can and do result in serious crashes.

Motorists are urged to:

• Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment. Don’t assume the operator can see you. 

• Watch for debris dropped by trucks. It’s safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road. 

• Wait for a safe place to pass.

Farm equipment operators should:

• Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible. 

• Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph. 

• Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night. 

• Properly secure your load.

• Ensure all lights are clean and fully visible.

• Ensure all safety equipment, including brakes and tires, are well maintained.

Question: I would like to transport a flag pole laying down on a trailer. I am wondering the maximum length a load hanging off can be and what type of markings would be needed.

Answer: The length of a single trailer and load cannot exceed 45 feet in Minnesota.  The combination of truck and trailer cannot exceed 75 feet. If loaded on a shorter trailer the overhang at 4 feet would require a red flag at the end of the projecting load during daylight hours or red lamps from dusk until dawn. Any lengths longer than 75 feet for the combination require a special permit.

Some general safety reminders when pulling a trailer

• Check lights before every trip and regularly throughout the trip.

• Adjust rear vision mirrors or use auxiliary rear vision mirrors to optimize rear visibility. 

• Reduce your speed when towing.

• Increase following distance. State law requires you to maintain 500 ft. interval in rural areas. 

• Be aware of the increased effects of wind gusts and passing vehicles when towing a trailer.

• Secure loads from shifting, falling or leaking.

• Check tires for proper inflation and for defects.

• Service wheel bearings regularly and check often.

• Stop every 100 miles to check trailer, load, and hitch.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.