Farmers Ask Motorists To Slow Down During Harvest
Farmers throughout central Illinois are gearing up to reap what they've sown; it’s harvest time. That means farm equipment, like combines and grain trucks, will be on many well-traveled roads.
Jim Launer, a farmer for 52 years, says machines can't always get over for motorists.
"We need to remember that the machinery is huge now and these roads are not too wide, and there's places where the big machines cannot get off the road."
Many farmers do their best to share the roadways, but the large equipment makes it difficult to stop or get over quickly.
John Dambacher, a farmer in Macoupin County, says culverts on the back roads make it dangerous for the farmers.
"There's a lot of culverts along these roads and we can't get over. We could damage a tire or if it's steep we might flip a machine."
John Dambacher has been a farmer for over half a century. Though Dambacher hasn't been involved in any accidents, he says he's witnessed several close calls.
"I've been passed on the right hand side three times over the years because I swung wide to turn into a field. That's kind of a weird feeling when you look to your right side and you've got a vehicle right up there beside you," said Dambacher.
Vision can be limited inside the large equipment. Farmers suggest staying back at least 50 feet and they will do their best to stop and pull over on country roads to allow motorists to pass whenever possible. Also, it’s important to remember farmers will be working long hours -- 16 hour days are not unusual. Farmers are counting on motorists to remember that slowing down and getting over is essential.
"There will be times when they'll be a little bit tired and they won't be as observant. Everybody just needs to cooperate because agriculture is a big part of this area, this state," said Launer.