Harvest safety a concern

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We know the recent spell of fantastic fall weather has allowed most area farmers the opportunities to get knee-deep into the fall harvest.

Area farmers, residents, and motorists are cautioned that there is plenty of activity in the fields and on the rural roads as farmers harvest their bountiful crops before the baling and field prep work.

Harvest safety must be on the minds of all concerned.

•If you must move machinery on a roadway after dark, have working headlights and flashing front and rear warning lights.

•Always display the reflective, triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem on all tractors, combines, grain carts, and other farm machinery when driven or pulled on public roadways.

•Remember to be watchful on county roads during harvest. A car going 50 mph coming up behind a farm implement moving at 15 mph closes at a rate of over 50 feet per second.

•Don’t pull out in front of farm vehicles. Heavily loaded trucks and grain trailers can’t stop as quickly as a passenger car.

•Watch out! Trucks and farm equipment may be entering the roadway from field lanes in places where you wouldn’t normally expect them.

•Give them room. Eight-row headers are nearly 25 feet wide and 12-row headers are nearly 35 feet wide. These take up nearly all of a roadway. When overtaking a combine, give the farmer time to see you and to find a safe place where he/she can pull over and make room for you to pass. Never attempt to pass a wide farm machine until the driver is aware of your presence.

•Never try to pass a combine or other implement on the shoulder of the road. If you hit a washout or hidden culvert, you could roll the vehicle.

•Harvest activity can disturb deer, causing them to be on the move during times of the day they are usually lying down. Be especially alert for deer during harvest.

Please be alert and stay safe as the fall harvest days play out.