Road Safety During Farming Seasons

During seeding in the spring and again with harvest in the fall, our roadways are noticeably inhabited by farm equipment. We want everyone to get home safe to their families, so here are a few tips for navigating traffic during peak seeding and harvest season.

For Drivers:

  • When passing farm equipment on a highway or gravel road, make sure the path is clear, drive slowly and pass respectfully.
  • Be patient and follow all traffic laws when passing.
  • Keep your distance and share the road. Be alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Remember that agricultural equipment drives slowly and behaves differently when it comes to braking and turning.
  • Practice good driving habits, don’t text and drive or make phone calls.

For Farmers:

  • Pay close attention to other vehicles and motorists close to your equipment.
  • Practice good driving habits, don’t text and drive or make phone calls.
  • Remember your slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign for your equipment so motorists remember your maximum speed is 40 km/h.
  • Make sure all your lights are working correctly.
  • Consider using an escort or pilot vehicles (front and back) when traveling long distances or moving oversize equipment.
  • Be aware of and follow all transportation laws and regulations.

Another thing to consider when moving heavy equipment is powerline safety. Countless accidents happen every year due to powerline incidences. Though most farmers are aware of power lines that run through their property the fact is equipment is getting bigger. Here are a few rules you need to know to keep yourself safe when operating your equipment around powerlines:

  • Keep at least 10 feet between your farming equipment and powerlines in your area with voltage up to 50kV.
  • The maximum height of any equipment that is allowed to pass under a powerline cannot exceed 5.18 m.
  • Remember that only qualified utility employees can measure power line clearance.

Rules also apply when you are driving with a large load, you may need permits as well as clearance to make sure your vehicle will avoid contact with powerlines. Contact the appropriate parties if you feel your load is too tall or wide. Stay safe out there!