MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) are offering some tips for farmers who have to drive their heavy equipment on the road with vehicle traffic as harvest season begins.
“No farmer driving down the road wants to create a traffic jam, so we all need to be patient and cautious of one another,” Curt Blades, the senior vice president of agriculture services at the AEM, said in the release/ “Whether it’s the farmer driving the tractor or the combine, or the person in a vehicle, we all need to recognize that everyone has to go down these same roads as safely as possible so we can all come home to our loved ones.”
Officials encourage farmers, and drivers to consider the following tips while driving out on rural roadways and other farm-adjacent roads:
- Be Aware: drivers should slow down and give the heavy equipment space if they see a flashing light on a piece of equipment on the roadway;
- Be Predictable: make sure the vehicle is visible to the farmer, especially while passing the heavy equipment on the roadways;
- Be Patient: a farmer will have a good indication when it is safe for a driver to pass, moving over to create a passageway for the vehicle.
“It’s very important to us,” Blades said in the release. “We want to do whatever is possible to make sure tractors are safe on the road, that farmers are operating that equipment safely, and that other automobiles are aware of how to safely pass farm equipment.”
The release states that a recent study from the University of Iowa’s Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health states that higher speed roads, and roads with limited visibility such as narrow, hilly, or curvy roads have a higher instance of traffic accidents between motor vehicles and farm equipment.
To learn more about ag equipment safety, visit AEM.org.