Slow down and use good lightning, farmers say
By Diego Flammini
With the 2021 spring planting season approaching, there will likely be an increase in the volume of farm equipment traveling on roads.
With that at top of mind, Farms.com connected with farmers and asked them to share tips for other farmers to help ensure their safety and the safety of other motorists during the planting season.
Marty Danzer, a cash crop producer from Carroll, Iowa, reminds his fellow farmers to be patient while operating their tractors.
“We farmers tend to get in a hurry during planting season because it never seems like there’s enough hours in the day,” he told Farms.com. “But sometimes you just have to slow down and be really aware of what’s going on around you.”
Another tip from Danzer is to drive on the shoulder of the road if possible.
Infrastructure projects are starting to consider the size of modern farm equipment, he said.
“If it’s safe to do so, I’ll take the shoulder of a road rather than stay on the pavement,” he said. “Some of the newer roads in our areas are being built with farm equipment in mind, but obviously that’s not always the case in some places.”
Leo Guilbeault, a cash crop farmer from Belle River, Ont., also shared some equipment safety tips with his fellow growers.
Guilbeault rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle for recreation and takes his motorcycle safety mindset into the cab of the tractor.
“I drive my equipment the same way as if I was driving my motorcycle,” he told Farms.com. “I’m always cautious of other people around me and I’m always looking beside and behind me, especially as I approach an intersection.”
Guilbeault also encourages farmers to make investments into equipment safety.
He recently upgraded parts of his equipment which have worked well.
“We’ve updated all of our lighting systems to LED and those have been great compared to the old bulb-style lights,” he said. “And we made sure that we have new slow-moving vehicle signs. If you’re transporting farm equipment at night, then you want to do all that you can to make yourself as visible as possible.”