Sharing The Road During Harvest

Large farm equipment is traveling on local roads to get harvesting done. As a driver, it’s easy to get frustrated when you’re stuck behind something going less than 25-miles-per-hour. Both parties should just take a breath and be patient because safety on the road is a shared responsibility.

Bill Field is an ag and biological engineering professor at Purdue University. He says farmers are responsible for contributing to safer highways by how they transport equipment, the times of the day they transport equipment, and that they recognize there are impatient people.

"If you live on a road where most of your rush hour traffic for folks getting home is around 5:00-6:00, I think it’s maybe a good consideration to not transport equipment during those hours," says Field. "Those are the times when people are leaving work, and they’re a little bit frustrated, and if you look at the data there’s a fair amount of incidents that occur during rush hour. In rural communities we don’t think there’s a rush hour, but most rural people work somewhere else other than their homes."

Motorists – give the farmers a break. They’re trying to get their work done.

"If you’re living in a rural community and you enjoy all the aspects of living out there in the country, also recognize that there are other parts of that that are maybe inconvenient to you. And that’s when these guys are trying to get their work in and they’re on the highway. Just give them a little bit more space, avoid trying to pass on double lines, and reduce your speed," he advises. "It’s amazing how many of these incidents involve speed."

Farmers, make sure your lights and slow-moving vehicle emblems are in good condition so motorists can easily see you.