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View from the Cab: Think safety


By: Kent Casson


It’s almost that time when we see plenty of tractors, planters and seed tenders traveling up and down rural roads for spring planting.


Please remember to look out for all of the large equipment and allow plenty of distance when traveling. Being a few minutes late to your destination is better than not arriving at all. When you’re out and about this spring, remember the farmers are out there too and have families to come home to at night.


I always share safety tips provided by the Illinois Farm Bureau each spring and fall season as a reminder to the public. This was a project years ago by the Illinois Farm Bureau “Quality of Life” Action Team and endorsed by the Secretary of State, Illinois Sheriff’s Association and Illinois High School & College Driver Education Association, Inc.

Motorists should slow down when seeing the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem, which is the big orange and red reflective triangle on equipment. This warns motorists that tractors and combines travel at slow rates of speed.


Drivers should only pass farm equipment when they know conditions are safe to do so and are sure the farmer will not make a left-hand turn. Newer equipment has one or more amber lights flashing rapidly while older equipment is typically not equipped with turn signals so watch for a farmer’s hand signals. Everyone should be prepared to yield to wide equipment and watch for the equipment operator’s indication of a turn.


Farmers must share the roads safe with motorists as well by planning travel to avoid rush hour, bad weather, busy roads and the time before daylight and after dark. Machinery should be obvious to motorists by properly using reflective emblems on any implement of husbandry operated on public roadways.


Hazard lights should be mounted on all equipment and field work lights must be turned off for roadway travel. Mirrors should be wide enough to show other vehicles following from behind and turn signals should be used to indicate a turn into fields or driveways. If road and shoulder conditions are safe, pull over temporarily to allow traffic to pass.


The width of equipment should be minimized as much as possible as farm machinery may not interfere with traffic in an adjoining lane. Whenever practical, truck larger equipment to the next location.


If we all follow these tips, it will be a safe spring planting season here in Central Illinois and the rest of the Midwest.


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