Monday, August 1, 2011

Following that slow tractor on the highway

Via Facebook 

This is a photo that has been circulating around facebook. I wanted to post for those that hadn't seen yet.

I know it can be frustrating waiting for or following those tractors, combines or hay trailers on the road, but farmers are just trying to do their job - get crops harvested and hauled so they can feed their animals or feed you. 

Some things to remember if you are around farm equipment:

- Farm machinery may not have brake lights or turning signals, so be sure to give yourself a fair amount of distant and watch closely for farmers making left-hand turns. 

- It is not a requirement that farm equipment operators drive on the shoulder of the road. However, if safe they may pull off to allow traffic to pass. Just remember that road can become soft due to rain and it might not be safe for the operator to pull over. Don't worry you'll get to your destination soon enough.

- It can be hard for the operator to see around the equipment they are towing. Just like a semi, don't follow too closely or else they might not be able to see you 

And as as a farmer it is your duty to make your equipment as visible as possible on the road. Remember that any farm equipment that goes less than 25 miles per hour should display an orange slow moving vehicle sign or SMV emblem on the piece of equipment. Turning on lights or flashers will also increase your visibility. 

If we both take a little more time on the roads everyone can get where they are going safely this summer.

Did you know that according to the American Farm Bureau Federation one U.S. Farmer feed 155 people! That is up considerably compared to only 19 people in 1940 or even 129 people in 1980. 


  1. speaking of facebook & tractor, I read on facebook yesterday that the USDOT is now thinking about requiring anyone who operates farm machinery to have a CDL, did you happen to see anything like that?

  2. It's sad to know that part of that is because there are fewer farmers now, too.

  3. Nicole - no I hadn't heard of that. That wouldn't certain add hassle and cost to farming.

    LindaG - certainly true, but luckily we have become more efficient by using available technologies so we can produce more with less.


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