Harvest is a busy time for farmers, and sometimes they take heavy machinery to the roads to get to another field to harvest. To keep everyone safe on the roads, follow these tips from the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Don’t assume the farmer knows you’re there.
Most equipment operators regularly check for vehicles behind them, but most of their time is spent looking ahead to stay on the road and watch for oncoming traffic. Implements are very loud, hindering the farmer’s ability to hear your vehicle.
Pass with extreme caution.
Don’t pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the farm equipment you are passing. If there are curves or hills blocking your view of oncoming traffic, wait until you can clearly see the area you’re passing in. You shouldn’t pass in a designated “No Passing Zone,” even if you’re stuck behind a farm vehicle. Do not pass if you’re within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel.
When a farm vehicle pulls to the right side of the road, it does not mean it is turning right or allowing you to pass.
Due to the size of some farm equipment, the farmer must execute wide left turns. Allow them plenty of room and time to turn, and be alert for driveways or fields they may be turning into.
Don’t assume a farmer can move aside to let you pass. Shoulders may be soft, wet or steep, which can cause the farm vehicle to tip or the shoulder may not support the weight of a heavy farm vehicle. The farmer understands you are being delayed and will move over at the first safe location.
Think of the slow-moving vehicle emblem as a warning to adjust your speed.
When you see the slow-moving vehicle emblem, you should immediately slow down. While the emblems are visible from a long distance, it is often difficult to judge the speed at which you’re closing in on a vehicle, especially at night.
When you are not focused solely on the road, you increase your chances of a collision, especially if you should come upon a slow-moving farm vehicle.