How to share the roads with farm equipment
Farm equipment on country roads presents several hazards fleet drivers need to be aware of
It is part of many business’s activities to drive on dirt roads in the course of their business as it may involve installation and servicing of equipment to serve, amongst others, the telecommunications industry. During the course of these travels they will encounter farm equipment such as tractors, harvesters etc.
Drivers – typically using bakkies or 4x4s – who drive on these country roads are reminded to be extra vigilant in spring and autumn. This is when farm equipment is more likely to be on the roads. Experts offer the following advice for safely sharing the road with farm machinery:
- Be alert
Many country roads are narrower, yet, farm equipment is much wider than the average vehicle. Add to that hills and curves, and the stage is set for an accident — especially for any driver traveling above the speed limit.
- Look for equipment signals
Modern farm equipment features beacons and flashers to alert both oncoming drivers as well as those behind them. Remember, however, that sometimes, certainly in Africa, some equipment may be fairly old and may not even have basics such as lights. Be on the lookout, especially at dusk when the changing light makes everything more difficult to see.
- Slow down
Be patient. Tractors and other farm equipment are heavy and can only travel so fast — far under the speed limit, typically. It may be frustrating to get stuck behind one of these vehicles, but slowing down and driving below the speed limit is the safest, smartest thing to do.
- Never pass
Never attempt to pass farm equipment in an area where visibility is restricted. Most certainly don’t attempt to do so if the road ahead is obscured by dust. It is extremely dangerous and all too often leads to a collision.
Farm equipment hazards – it is US based but still relevant
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