Home > farm safety > Drive safely during farming season – 5 things you must do.

Drive safely during farming season – 5 things you must do.

I read the following article from a fellow ag blogger, Andy Kleinschmidt.  Andy is an extension educator for Ohio State University that writes about various farm and ag issues.

It is common to see tractors and other machinery on both paved and gravel roads during the farming season.  I have memories of driving all shapes and sizes of tractors pulling everything imaginable down the road at a blazing 11 mph.  Those memories also include automobile drivers will a wide range of abilities (or lack thereof) to maneuver around farm equipment.  I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining a high degree of caution and patience with farm vehicles during the farming season.  With the two or three hills we have in North Dakota, visibility can be an issue.  Please don’t assume that the tractor driver sees you!  Also, the equipment driver’s age might range from 10-90+.  Please exercise caution when approaching or passing.

Without further adieu, here are the driving tips from Mr. Kleinschmidt:

Spring and early summer are extremely busy times of the year for farmers.  Activities are many, and include moving large equipment from farm-to-farm.  Oftentimes moving farm equipment requires travel on roads.  Farm equipment is large, slow moving and does not stop quickly.  As such, it is very important that motorists take caution when approaching farm equipment.  Below are a few tips that should be followed when driving during the busy farming season:

  • Slow down immediately when you first see farm equipment ahead of you on the roadway. Farm equipment usually travels less than 25 miles per hour. It takes less than seven seconds for a car traveling at 55 mph to crash into the back of a tractor 400 feet away.
  • Be patient and wait for a safe opportunity to pass farm equipment. The tractor or combine operator will probably be aware of your presence and will pull over when possible as traffic begins to back-up.
  • Drive defensively when approaching on-coming farm equipment. Impatient motorists may pull out suddenly to pass the farm equipment and enter your lane.
  • Be on the alert when you see amber flashing lights ahead in either lane.
  • Be prepared to stop at railroad crossings when following a vehicle towing an anhydrous ammonia tank. Anhydrous ammonia tanks look like the large propane gas tanks used by rural homeowners.

farm safety