Harvest Ends, Farmers Still Ask Drivers For Cooperation
Many farmers will be backing in their combines for the year as harvest is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean the roads will be clear.
"Even after the harvest is over, we have the tillage practice to go through," said Jerry Harbour of Prairieland FS. "We do a lot of fall application of fertilizer and nitrogen."
Many farmers will be working their freshly harvested ground and hitting the road with tractors pulling tillage tools that can range anywhere from 12 to 30 feet wide.
"Try to be respectful of their space," said Harbour. "They're limited to where they can get off the road in certain places and where they can't."
They will do their best to get over so drivers can pass safely, but say it's important to pay attention to their traffic signals. Be sure they aren't swinging wide to turn before you attempt to pass.
"You have to be aware of turn signals," said Leroy Bozarth of Fairchild Farms. "Tractors and equipment have turn signals."
"Watch their flashers because they may be turning," said Harbour. "They have their flashers on, but they'll have their turn signal on to indicate they will be turning soon or if there's a place coming up pretty tight that they can't get through."
Even if a driver is meeting a tractor on the opposite side of the road, do your best to slow down and get over.
"We can only get over so far because the ditch is too deep and the equipment will drag on the pavement," said Bozarth.
Farmers suggest staying back at least 100 feet to be sure they can see you behind the large equipment.