MnDOT asks motorists, farm equipment operators to safely share the road during harvest season
MANKATO, Minn. — Motorists traveling on Minnesota roads this fall should be aware of large farm equipment transporting crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“Harvest season is ramping up across Minnesota and farmers need the highways to access their fields and deliver crops to market,” said Scott Thompson, traffic engineer. “Both motorists and farm equipment operators have a shared responsibility for highway safety.”
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down or stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and can sometimes cross over the center line. These vehicles can also create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All of these factors can cause serious crashes.
- Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment. Don’t assume the operator can see you.
- Watch for roadway debris dropped by farm equipment and trucks. It’s safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming traffic or off the road.
- Be patient and wait for a safe place to pass.
Farm equipment operators should:
- Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
- Use lead and follow vehicles when moving equipment, especially at night.
- Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
- Don’t encourage motorists to pass. Instead, pull over when safe and let traffic pass.
- Properly secure loads and remove any debris that may have been left on the road by equipment.