Nothing says "Lubbock" like a man driving his tractor to Quick Track for a last-minute beer run. A friend of mine sent me a video of a man leaving the gas on his tractor after stopping in for some beer before midnight. He thought I'd find it amusing, and he was right. It also made me wonder whether or not the guy was doing anything illegal.

So, first of all, is it legal to drive a tractor to a gas station in Texas?

This isn't the first time I've seen it done. In fact, I used to see a man drive his lawnmower to the gas station in Rankin all the time. That was a really small town, and nobody said anything about it. Lubbock might be a different story. But, hey, you gotta be able to buy gas somehow, right? Surely it's legal to take it to the store...

I spent some time researching what I could find about it online. For the most part, it looks like it is legal to drive a tractor on public roads and to the gas station, as long as you follow traffic lights and signs, use turn indicators, signal 100 feet before stopping or turning, and be equipped with an SMV emblem on the rear to indicate they are a "slow-moving vehicle". This brings me to my next question...


Is it legal to drive a tractor on a public road at night?

I know a Texas county judge from a rural community, and I thought he might be able to give me more insight. I asked him to tell me what he knew about tractors driving on the road at night. He said he believed tractors were allowed to be on public roads at night as long as they had functioning lights, an SMV emblem, and followed public traffic rules. He basically told me the same thing I'd read online and mentioned above.

After our conversation, I called the non-emergency number for the Lubbock Police Department to see if I could ask a cop what he knew about the legality of driving a tractor to the gas station at night for a beer run...

The officer I spoke with definitely got a kick out of my questions. I didn't ask for his name, but he was very friendly and didn't mind taking a second to humor me. He told me that while it was legal to drive a tractor on a public road, and even at night, he thinks it could cross over into another territory if you were driving it on a beer run. He was kind of stumped by the question, too. He said he would likely stop someone on a tractor if he saw them driving it for the sole purpose of purchasing alcohol. He said that honestly, a tractor on public roads should really only be moving from one work site to another. He told me that he was going to have to look up more information on all of that because it wasn't something he'd ever really even thought about. We both laughed.

I also learned from him that a driver's license isn't actually required to drive a tractor, but Texas law says that a person operating a tractor is not released from liability if they are operating it under the influence of drugs and alcohol.


If you are perfectly sober and you take a tractor to purchase some alcohol, and you don't drink any of it, and it remains in the box on your tractor until you get home, is that legal?

From all of the information I've gathered, it appears that it would be up to the officer and could probably be argued in court if it came down to it.

I don't know if I've learned anything today, or if I've just confused myself more. I think the best way to avoid getting in trouble, is probably not to drive a tractor to the store for booze. If you happen to find yourself in that scenario, just make sure you are sober, on the off chance you get pulled over...

After all of that, I think I need a drink...

Do you know more about this subject? Care to tell me your thoughts and opinions? I've fallen down a rabbit hole and I can't get out. Please feel free to comment on this article on our Facebook page, or email me at

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