Exercise Extreme Caution with Farm Equipment on Rural Roads

Here are some tips for rural drivers:

— Be prepared for farm vehicles.

— Slow down and keep your distance.

— Be sure of the farm equipment operator’s intention before passing.

— Be patient.

— Be especially alert for farm machinery in the evening as dusk makes farm equipment more difficult to see.

Here are some tips for farm equipment operators:

— Only allow appropriately trained drivers to take machinery onto the road.

— Make sure farm equipment is equipped with the proper lighting and safety devices.

— Minimize total vehicle width and secure equipment in transport position.

— Watch for approaching traffic and vehicles trying to pass. If possible, pull over and let traffic safely pass.

— Obey all traffic laws and signs.

— Signal intentions to motorists and avoid sudden or unexpected maneuvers.

— Exercise additional care when entering roadways, approaching unsigned or “blind” intersections, crossing narrow bridges, going around sharp corners or going over hills.

I think all of us involved in production agriculture have had a close call or two on a public road. I can remember having a couple close calls as I tried to turn left and vehicles behind me decided this would be a good time to pass me. Luckily for everyone involved, the motorists realized I was turning left and they quickly stopped.

Sometimes we are not that lucky and accidents happen and both vehicle and farm equipment operators are injured or killed. Please take the time to follow these safety tips so everyone can make it back home to their loved ones.

Russ Quinn can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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