Whether you are a resident or a visitor to rural parts of America, special attention to safety during harvest time is essential, particularly on our rural roads. Here are a few tips to help keep you and the farmers safe:
- Remember that weather conditions typically dictate when farmers work, so don’t be surprised to see farm equipment on the road at any time of the day or evening.
- A car going 50 mph coming up behind a farm implement moving 15 mph, closes in at a rate of over 50 feet per second. Slow down!
- Don’t pull out in front of farm vehicles. Heavily loaded trucks and grain trailers cannot stop quickly to avoid hitting you or others.
- Give them ROOM! Eight row headers are nearly 25 feet wide and 12 row headers are nearly 35 feet wide. These take up nearly all of the road and they cannot pull over to let you pass.
- Harvest activity can disturb deer and other animals causing them to move during different times of the day. Be mindful they may be on the road or close by the edge at times when you wouldn’t expect to see them.
- And last but certainly not least, when you find yourself behind a farm implement going 10 mph, instead of huffing and puffing about how slow you are having to drive, just say thanks that there are people willing to do the job and provide food for you and your family.