top of page

View from the Cab: Time to think safety

By: Kent Casson

As April flies by and spring planting is getting into full swing, we must all remember farm safety moving through the season.

Farmers should share the road safely with motorists and do anything possible to alert others to the presence of farm equipment on the road. Rush hours should be avoided for moving large equipment along with busy roads and the time before daylight or after dark.

Use the proper reflective Slow Moving Vehicle emblems on any implement of husbandry that is operated on public roads. This will cause you to be more visible to nearby motorists. Extremities of equipment should have reflective marking tape and reflectors. Hazard lights should always be turned on and properly mounted on machinery. Also, mirrors need to be wide enough to see what is following behind.

Tractor operators should use turn signals whenever possible before turning into driveways or field entrances and be aware of traffic in all directions. Temporarily allow traffic to pass by pulling over only if road and shoulder conditions are safe to do so. Equipment width should be minimized as much as possible and larger pieces of equipment should be trucked to the next location if practical.

Motorists need to also share the road safely with farmers and most of all – slow down and be patient. Remember, those flashing amber lights mean to use caution on the road and you should reduce speed when encountering equipment on roads. Keep a safe distance so the farmer can see you and if you can’t see the farmer’s mirrors, they can’t see you. Only pass wide farm equipment if you know conditions are safe and you are sure the farmer will not make a left turn.

It is illegal to pass in a no passing lane or within so many feet of an intersection, railroad crossing or bridge. Wear a safety belt and obey the posted speed limit like you always would. Some older equipment is not equipped with turn signals so watch for hand signals from the operator. Newer equipment typically has several amber lights flashing and will indicate a turn.

If we can all share the road safely together, we will have another safe and successful spring planting season here in Central Illinois. These tips were provided years ago by the Illinois Farm Bureau’s “Quality of Life” Action Team and endorsed by the Secretary of State’s Office, Illinois Sheriff’s Association and Illinois High School & College Driver Education Association Inc.

I keep a small paper copy of these tips in my desk drawer for easy access each spring and fall for road safety reminders.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page