Hayride Attraction Frequently Asked Questions
As of March 30, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Amusement Ride Safety Division (“Department”) continues to conduct public outreach notifying owners/operators of potential Hayride Attractions that such activity is considered an amusement ride under Pennsylvania law. All amusement rides must be registered with the Department prior to operation in the Commonwealth. Below are the most frequently asked questions regarding registration of hayrides.
What is a Hayride Attraction per the ASTM Standard?
As defined by ASTM F3168, Standard Practice for Hayride Attractions, a hayride attraction is an experience in which passengers board a wagon or trailer, typically a wagon filled with straw or hay, and are taken on a journey. Such as:
- Hayride attractions used as an element or in combination with another hayride attraction, corn maze, zombie walk, paintball game, tree harvesting farm, seasonal attraction, haunted house, haunted attraction, fair, exposition or agritourism event.
- Hayride attractions used primarily in off road applications, fixed courses or designated areas.
What is the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM” or “ASTM International”)?
ASTM develops and publishes technical standards for many industries, including amusement rides (within the ASTM F-24 Committee), with the goal of enhancing performance and safety over a wide range of products, materials, systems and services.
Why do the ASTM standards matter in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s Amusement Ride Inspection Act and its attendant regulations adopt ASTM standards, specifically those related to the amusement rides and amusement attractions, typically found in the ASTM F-24 Committee and its sub-committees.
What if I just loan my tractor and/or wagon to an organization?
The obligation to register a hayride attraction falls on the person/group/business who is operating the attraction. We encourage you to understand your liability in such circumstances where you loan equipment for such use. We suggest you contact your insurance provider to clarify your liability (if any).
How do I go about getting approval of and registering my hayride attraction?
The Department has a webpage for hayride attractions and the documents needed for submission.
You can also email or call us directly for clarification or questions. Call or email the program and we will go over your specific activity and questions. Email RAemail@example.com or call 717-787-2291 (ask for Walt).
What do I do after I have my hayride attraction registered?
At least 15 days prior to operating your hayride, you (the owner) should login to the Amusement Rides Inspection System (you will receive credentials when you successfully register your hayride): http://www.pda.pa.gov/amusementrides/.
Once logged in you will submit an Itinerary Report into the system, which will then allow your private qualified inspector to conduct the inspection (and submit the result via the same portal but using their inspector credentials) prior to the first day of operation and every 30th day thereafter.
What isn’t a Hayride Attraction?
ASTM F3168 excludes:
- Hayride attractions designed exclusively for private or home use.
- Amusement rides, devices or attractions with a mechanical horsepower rating of 27 (hp)I (27.37 (hp)M) or less and commonly referred to as a trackless train, mall train, tandem wagon or barrel train.
- Animal powered or drawn carriages, wagons or trailers.
- Human powered or drawn carriages, wagons or trailers.
- Passenger trams used primarily in amusement parks, theme parks, zoos, wildlife parks or water parks.
- Amusement rides, devices or attractions where the passenger carriers are guided by a rail or track system.
- Parade floats.
Why do I have to register my trackless train, mall train, tandem wagon or barrel train if it is excluded by ASTM F3168?
ASTM F3168 is only describing what is or isn’t a Hayride Attraction. While these type of amusement rides are not considered hayride attractions, they are amusement rides as defined under Pennsylvania’s Amusement Ride Inspection Act. As a result, they must comply with the Act’s regulatory requirements for registration and operation in Pennsylvania.
What do I do if I don’t know?
What do I do if there is an accident or injury while operating the hayride?
Handle the emergency as appropriate (contact emergency services if necessary), ensure the safety of staff and guests, and secure the property and equipment. After the emergency is addressed, the Department requires accidents that result in staff or patron injury to be reported to us on a standardized form within 24 hours of the incident.
Do the drivers of the hayride need to be trained and tested?
ASTM F3168 does require drivers of the tow vehicle to be trained and tested on the operation of the tow vehicle prior to being allowed to operate it (each type of tow vehicle).
What is considered a hayride designed exclusively for private or home use?
A hayride that operates exclusively on private property for family and friends isn’t intended for public use (i.e., the public is not invited). We would strongly encourage any such hayride to consider the items addressed in the ASTM standard as it all comes down to safety.
What if I only do this activity once a year?
There is no exclusion for the number of times a hayride operates. With that said, the Department expects any hayride attraction to operate as safely as possible and that is what these standards help ensure.
Does registering my hayride attraction have a cost associated with it?
There is no cost associated with registering a hayride with the Department, BUT there is/are cost(s) related to inspection of the hayride.
What are the costs associated with operating my hayride attraction?
A Qualified Private Inspector is a person (not a Commonwealth employee) who is affiliated with a business (could be the owner or an employee). This person applies to the Department and passes an inspector test ($50 test fee) and takes 16 hours of approved continuing education credits within the three-year licensing period. This person can inspect the hayride attraction once they pass the test and receive their credentials. There is a $50 renewal fee for each three-year licensing period. Inspectors who allow their license to expire must retest. Inspectors who do not have the required amount of approved continuing education at time of renewal will not be renewed until they do.
A registered owner of a hayride attraction must have $300K of general liability insurance.
What if I don’t have a qualified inspector?
We strongly encourage businesses to have an inspector, or a group of businesses can ‘share’ an appropriately licensed qualified inspector, in which case a $50 affiliate fee would apply per additional business for an inspector per licensing period. There are a small number of General Qualified Inspectors that could conduct the inspection for you on a fee basis (the Department is not involved in the fee arrangement for these type of inspections). The General Inspector must also be affiliated with the business for which they are conducting the inspection.
When will this requirement take effect?
ASTM F3168 took effect December 2019. The Department is using the 2022 season for public outreach and education with the expectation that the 2023 season will require hayride attractions to be compliant.
Is the Department considering any additional clarification or variance to the requirements?
Yes, the Department is gathering information from all sectors affected by hayride attraction registration requirements and will make recommendations to the Secretary prior to enforcing compliance.
What if I have other rides or attractions at my location?
If so, you likely are already familiar with our program if you have a barrel train, pedal carts, inflatable, slide, zip line or other similar items. A private qualified inspector is licensed at one of several levels to conduct a variety of inspections. If you have multiple rides or attractions the level of certification changes (a different test) as does the number of continuing education hours (from 16 hours to 24 hours).
What if I’m unsure how to comply with the Department and ASTM requirements?
If you are unsure about specific requirements outlined in the checklist and manual, such as staffing, signaling device requirements, operating procedures etc., reach out to the Department and we can assist you with developing operation procedures and make suggestions for your specific activity that will meet the requirements.
The Department’s Amusement Ride Safety Division appreciates your comments and any additional questions you may have. Please contact the undersigned at 717-787-2291 or by email at RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
2301 N. Cameron St. | Harrisburg, Pa 17110-9406 | Suite G-4 | 717.787.9089
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