Hiring Vehicles to Neighbouring Farms

As a farmer, you’re likely to have a whole range of vehicles and machinery that is essential for different elements of your work and are fundamental to the smooth running of your farm. Due to the specialist nature of this equipment, they’re often expensive to purchase, run, and maintain, and so it is not unheard of to rent out vehicles and machinery to neighbouring farms to help generate some additional revenue. 

Within this blog, Farm and General uncover the risks and main elements to consider if you find yourself in this position and ensure you have the correct agricultural vehicle cover in place.

Farm Contracting or Self-Drive? 

Before lending any agricultural vehicles to neighbouring farms, it’s imperative to understand the potential risks involved and to take the necessary precautions to protect both yourself and others. There are significant differences between contracting yourself and allowing the use of your own vehicle on someone else’s farm and charging them to use the vehicle themselves.

Charging your neighbours to use your vehicles is classified as self-drive hire, and there can be various, very serious obstacles and precautions that need to be considered. Primarily, in this instance you will need to provide:

  • Operators’ manual
  • Engineering certificates
  • Full-service certificate
  • Risk assessment – covering vehicle suitability and formal driver training.

It’s important to remember the significant differences between contracting and self-drive hire. If you’re lending your vehicle to a neighbouring farm as part of a farm contracting agreement, you retain control of the vehicle and provide an operator to drive it: a standard practice in the industry. In this scenario, you are responsible for all aspects from ensuring your driver is fully trained and qualified, that the vehicle is adequately insured and maintained and therefore, you are liable for any accidents or damage that can occur during the course of the contracting agreement.

However, when lending your agricultural vehicle for self-drive hire, you are for all intents and purposes, renting out your vehicle for someone else to operate themselves. Subsequently, you are relinquishing control of the vehicle to entrust it to someone else. This method involves a higher level of risk, as you have less control in relation to the vehicle, and the qualifications and knowledge base of the driver.

Agricultural Vehicle Health and Safety

It’s crucial to ensure that all necessary precautions have been taken to avoid accidents or incidents that could result in significant legal and financial consequences. Steps should include but aren’t restricted to: 

  • Ensuring the vehicle is adequately insured
  • Conducting regular maintenance checks
  • Ensuring drivers have appropriate licences and training

Farm and General, Providing Comprehensive Cover

Here at Farm and General, we understand the importance of protecting your business and assets. Our helpful team of experts are happy to provide advice and support to help you navigate the complex area of self-drive hire and ensure that you are taking all of the necessary precautions to protect both yourself and others. Our team will be able to assist with all aspects, from comprehensive insurance policies to risk assessments, providing you with the peace of mind that your business is fully protected.

Get in Touch 

We aim to provide you with peace of mind so that you can focus year-round on the business of farming. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you.