It’s a busy time for farmers in Kansas with harvest underway and hay season in full swing. Motorists are reminded to use caution and patience when traveling around farm trucks, tractors, combines and other implements.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, most farm equipment is not designed to travel at highway speeds and may only travel 15-25 mph. Farm equipment is often wider than the lane of traffic so extra room should be allowed when sharing the road. Caution should be practiced on all roads, but especially on busy rural roads with unmarked intersections.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t assume the farmer knows you are there.
Most farmers regularly check for vehicles behind them, however, most of their time must be spent looking ahead to stay on the road and watch for oncoming traffic. Implements are very loud, hindering their ability to hear your vehicle.
- Pass with extreme caution.
Don’t pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the equipment you are passing. If there are curves or hills blocking your view, wait until you can clearly see the area you are passing. You should not pass in a designated “No Passing Zone,” even if you are stuck behind a farm vehicle. Do not pass if you are within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevated structure, or tunnel.
- When a farm vehicle pulls to the right side of the road, it does not mean it is turning right or allowing you to pass.
Due to the size of some farm equipment, the farmer must execute wide left turns so allow it plenty of room and time to turn. Be alert to see if they might be turning into a driveway or field.
- Be patient.
Don’t assume that a farmer can move aside to let you pass. Shoulders may be soft, wet or steep, which can cause the farm vehicle to tip or the shoulder may not support the weight of a heavy farm vehicle. They understand you are being delayed and will move over at the first safe location available.
- Think of the slow-moving vehicle emblem as a warning to adjust your speed.
Immediately slow down when you see the slow-moving vehicle emblem. While the emblems are visible from a long distance, it is difficult to judge the speed at which you are closing in on the vehicle, especially at night.
- Pay attention.
When not focused solely on the road, motorists increase their chances of a collision, especially if you should come upon a slow-moving farm vehicle.