Fall harvest season is upon us, so rural drivers can expect to share the road with large farm implements. It can easily become dangerous time if you don’t take the proper safety measures for you and your family. Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe on the farm, on the road and in the field.
Tips to keep farmers and truck drivers safe:
- One seat, one rider. If a piece of equipment only has one seat, the driver’s seat, then the driver should be the only one on that piece of machinery. The only exception to this rule is if a tractor or combine has a buddy seat that is meant for an additional rider.
- Stay rested. Being overtired creates an impaired mental state. Many farmers work 20-hour days during harvest. No need to sacrifice your well-being for efficiency.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know where children or workers are before moving machinery. Know where field approaches, tile inlets, trees, barns, sheds, vehicles, drainage ditches and buffer strips are located, and make sure your help knows too. Having to replace machinery parts or fix tile inlets are never a cheap or fun task. Also, don’t text and drive!
- Eat. Drink. Sleep. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water and eating meals throughout the day.
- Shut off PTOs and engine before working on moving parts. ‘Nuff’ said if you want to keep your fingers, arms, legs, and other important body parts.
- Use your lights and flashers. Many road drivers don’t heed to farm machinery as they should so be proactive and make sure they can at least see your lights. If you have machinery that has poor or no lights, only move it on roads during daylight hours and have someone follow behind you in a vehicle with their flashers on.
- Create a Plan. Make sure you and your family have a safety check plan. Set up check-in times throughout the day. You never want to be caught in a field alone and unable to call for help.
- Always be on the lookout for farm machinery. They can unexpectedly turn onto roads from a field or approach.
- Farm machinery travels at 25 mph or less so stay your distance and slow down.
- Allow enough time and distance for farm equipment to make turns as they may be wide.
- Just because you see the equipment does not mean the equipment operator sees you.
MVTV Wireless wishes our local farming families and Ag related businesses a safe and prosperous 2017 harvest!
‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’