County Ag News

Safe travel with farm equipment


The recent fatality from a car tractor accident underscores the reason we all need to be extra attentive when we are on the road. 

It’s legal to drive farm machinery on public roads and it’s often the only way farmers can get from field to field. Many farms today are larger and as a result there is more movement of equipment on the roads today than there was twenty years ago. Drivers must remember that farm equipment is big, slow and not very maneuverable. 

Tractors today are many times heavier than the cars that they share the roads with. The farm machinery may be substantially wider than normal highway vehicles. The combination of slow traveling farm equipment and faster motor vehicles means the time before the two meet can be seconds. Any type of distracted driving – talking on a cellphone, checking a text message, being tired- can make stopping without a crash almost impossible.

•Farm machinery that goes less than 25 miles per hour (mph) should display an orange ‘slow moving vehicle’ or SMV emblem on the back. Alternatively, the equipment may have an amber strobe light.

•The farm equipment operator may not be able to see around the equipment, so don’t assume that the operator knows you are approaching. Keep a safe distance back.

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