As winter starts to wane and spring gets closer, farmers will start becoming busier readying fields for planting. When farmers become more active, it results in more farm equipment on the roads. While it is not ideal to get stuck behind a tractor going 15 MPH on a road with a speed limit of 55 MPH, how you handle the situation could be important. A wrong move could mean you end up in a serious accident.
You probably want to avoid that, and the farmer driving the equipment most likely does, too. Farmers are not on the road to inconvenience you. They cannot go faster, but they need you to share the road so that they can get where they need to go. Learning how to drive safely around farm equipment can help ensure that everyone gets to their destination safely.
Tips for sharing the road
According to Farm Bureau Financial Services, some farm equipment operates similarly to a large truck in that they cannot stop quickly or maneuver easily. Because of this, you need to give farmers and their equipment room and pay attention to lights and signals. A tractor pulling a piece of equipment, for example, may swing to the left before making a right turn. If you drive up on the tractor, you could end up smashing into it.
You also need to be aware of possible farm equipment on roads that you travel. You most likely use the same roads every day, so you should know when to expect a tractor or another piece of equipment on the roads. Stay alert, and make sure that you slow down and do not get too close to the equipment.
When passing, ensure that you can see clearly around the equipment. You should never pass if you do not have a clear view around to ensure that there is no other traffic coming in the opposite direction. Also, signal when passing. The driver may need to pull over a little to allow you to pass if the equipment is large and crossing the centerline.