MnDOT asks motorists, farm equipment operators to safely share the road during harvest season

Published 4:27 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Motorists traveling on Minnesota highways this fall need to be aware of large, slow-moving farm equipment moving to and from the fields and transporting crops, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The machines also make wide turns and sometimes cross over the centerline. 

They can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. All these factors require all drivers to exercise extra caution during harvest season.

“Minnesota’s agriculture community is hard at work this fall as harvest is underway,” said Mike Schweyen, MnDOT District 6 traffic engineer. “We can all do our part to keep our roads safe by being attentive to what’s ahead on the roads we travel. That means being prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads through November. Be patient. Most farmers will try to allow vehicles to pass them in an area where it is safe to do so.”

Motorists

  • Watch for falling debris or debris in the road.
  • Don’t veer for debris, it could result in a head-on collision or a driver going into a ditch.
  • Wait for a safe opportunity to pass. Farm equipment operators often make wide left turns, which can indicate to a motorist that the operator is moving right and it is safe to pass.
  • Wear seat belts.
  • Drive with headlights on at all times.
  • Park the phone and put the distractions away.

Farm Equipment Operators

  • Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
  • Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
  • Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.
  • Wear seat belts.
  • Park the phone and put the distractions away.