Green combines. Red tractors. Blue grain carts. Although the equipment varies in size and color, the job is the same — help farmers get their crops out of the field. Because it’s harvest season.
As farmers move from field to field, they have to drive their equipment on gravel roads, farm-to-market roads and major highways.
The big equipment moves slow.
And in our fast-paced world, it can seem like a major inconvenience to be stuck behind a combine, especially when you’re in a hurry.
respect the road
Farmers get it. They know 25 miles per hour isn’t the fastest or most ideal speed. They understand you have places to be, deadlines to meet and families to see. They can relate.
Because they’re just trying to do their job — to get to the next field, to meet the deadline of harvesting their crops before it rains, to get home safely to see their family at the end of a long work day.
But it’s not just the large tractors and harvesting equipment. It’s also ranchers pulling trailers of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and sometimes horses. It’s a trailer loaded down with hay or produce.
driving safety tips
That’s where we all come into play. Here are seven things you can do when you meet farm equipment on the road:
1. Be alert and cautious. And give large farm equipment and other slow-moving vehicles space.
2. Don’t pass if you are in a space designated as a “No Passing Zone” or in any area that isn’t safe to do so — intersections, bridges and railroad crossings, among others.
3. Make sure the tractor isn’t trying to make a left turn before you pass on the left.
4. Expect farm equipment to take wider turns and have to use both lanes at times.
5. Don’t tailgate. Give yourself space between your vehicle and the slow-moving vehicle ahead of you.
6. Don’t assume the farmer knows you’re there.
7. Be careful when you do get the chance to pass. Farmers will often move their equipment over when it is safe to do so.