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Plan Before Moving Farm Equipment on Public Roads

When it comes to moving farm equipment on public roads, a little planning can go a long way towards preventing accidents.
 
“Farmers should check their route prior to starting out with farm equipment to be sure equipment will fit on all roads and bridges and that there are no low-hanging power lines along the route,” says Kenda Lubeck, farm safety coordinator, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “If equipment is too wide to fit safely into one lane, approaching traffic could clip the machinery or become blocked while crossing a bridge. Equipment that is too tall could come in contact with a power line. Use a pilot vehicle as a guide for large machinery and to warn motorists of oncoming large equipment”
 
For the safety of all motorists, it is highly recommended that farmers move equipment during high-visibility daylight hours and during periods of light traffic. “Avoid busy roads whenever possible, even if travel time will be longer,” says Lubeck. “If your route takes you across a rural railway crossing, be aware that some crossings have poor visibility. Always stop and make sure the way is clear before crossing.”
 
Anyone moving equipment, especially on public roads, should be trained in how to use the equipment and must hold a valid a driver’s license. “Inexperienced operators can make mistakes when they are not used to the speed and maneuverability limitations of farm equipment. It’s advisable to read the operator’s manual for each machine and observe any precautions indicated for road travel. Some tractors free-wheel in higher gears, which can be very dangerous when travelling down a hill. Use lower gear ranges when climbing or descending hills.”
 
As well, Lubeck says it’s important drivers never take extra riders on equipment. “Extra riders on farm equipment are a distraction to the operator and are at risk of falling off the machinery and being run over. Each person in the machine should be secured with a seatbelt.”
 
Source : Agriculture and Forestry

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