Ask the Warden
UTVs can vary in use, registration
By Jim Jung
Conservation warden, DNR
Question: I recently purchased a utility type vehicle which does not meet the definition of an ATV or a UTV. Its main purpose is to assist in yard work around our property.
These types of vehicles are offered by numerous manufactures such as Kubota, John Deer etc. and are bigger, heavier and slower than a traditional UTV. Because this can’t be registered by the DNR as a UTV am I able to operate this on a roadway as long as I place a slow moving placard on the back of it?
We use the machine to transport gear and people back and forth between our primary residence and our cabin several miles away. I realize we are not allowed to operate on the ATV/UTV trails but was wondering about operation on town roadways and County Highways many of which are marked as ATV/UTV Routes.
Jim Jung: You are correct that the vehicle you described may not be registered as a UTV due to its width and or weight.
You stated the purpose of using the vehicle out on a roadway was to transport people, gear to and from your cabin. An exception for operation of unregistered vehicles on a highway is an “implement of husbandry” which does require the placement of a slow moving vehicle placard.
By definition, an implement of husbandry is exclusively used in conduct of agricultural operations. In addition to equipment such as tractors, pesticide applicators and combines it does allow the use of a self-propelled vehicle that directly engages in harvesting farm products, directly applies fertilizer, spray, or seeds but not manure or distributes feed to livestock.
So, for the purposes you have listed, (transporting persons and gear to and from your cabin) this vehicle cannot be used on a roadway/highway even if you have placed a slow moving placard on it and even if the roadway has been marked as an ATV/UTV Route.