Share the road with farmers

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, August 20, 2022

By Levi Berg

Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Clark County Extension Office

It seems like the summer was hardly here, and passed too fast. It is evenly harder to think that harvest season will soon be here. Grain farmers will be in the fields with combines, and cattle producers will be chopping corn for silage. This activity means that tractors and farm equipment will be on the roads, and drivers and equipment operators need to safely share the road.

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Motorist Driving Roads With Agricultural Equipment

• Slow Down: Remember the top speed for tractors in around 20mph, so slow down to give yourself the time and space to access the situation.

• Pay Close Attention: Always give driving your 100% attention, and put down the cell phone. In a battle between a tractor and your car, your car will always lose.

• Don’t Get Too Close: Give the farmer space and do not tailgate. Tailgating causes stress and distraction

• Don’t Pass Until It Is Safe: Only pass when you have plenty of space and time to pass the equipment.

• Be Alert For Turns: Look for turn indicators like hand signals and blinkers from the equipment operators. Tractors make very wide turns especially when hauling equipment, so do not try to pass on either side of the equipment while they are turning.

Farm Equipment Operators on the Roads

• Always use headlights, flashing lights, and reflectors while on the road. This helps the motorist recognize that you are on the road and they need to slow down.

• Use escort vehicles anytime tractors are on the road and especially if your equipment is over 13 ft wide.

• Only have licensed drivers and drivers familiar with the equipment to have it on the roads.

• Wait for traffic to clear before entering a public road. Unlike the tractor, most vehicles will be traveling 55 mph instead of 20 mph, so do not pull in front of oncoming traffic.

• Only drive well maintained and cared for equipment on the roads.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind during the fall when harvest equipment will be on the roads. It is never a good situation when tractors/farm equipment and motorist collide. Like I mentioned above, the car will always lose to a tractor in a head to head battle, so slow down. If you have further questions, please contact the Clark County Extension Office 859-744-4682. Information for this article was obtained from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets article “Share the Road with Farmers: Be Alert. Be Patient. Be Kind” and the University of Kentucky Agricultural Engineering publication AEN-67.

Clark County Beef Field Day

The Clark County Extension Office is pleased to announce that they have partnered with the Clark County Cattlemen and Clark County Farm Bureau to offer the 2022 Clark County Beef Field Day on Sept. 6th at 4:30pm. Come learn about radio frequency cattle tags and how they can be utilized in your beef operation. Contact the Clark County Extension Office to RSVP and obtain the location of the beef field day.