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tractor on the road

Planting season has started in Missouri. That means more tractors and implements will be on roads as they move from one field to the next. The Show Me Farm Safety website posted the following safety tips that producers can utilize to keep themselves, their families, and others safe on the roadways this season.

Sharing the Road

Sometimes farm vehicles must operate on public roads and highways to move between farms and fields. Although farm equipment is legally allowed on public roads, it’s important to be extremely cautious, courteous and attentive to other motorists and their passengers.

It’s important for farmers to keep the safety of other motorists as their top priority. If possible, avoid running equipment on highways during rush hours, bad weather and after dark. To alert motorists you are operating a slow-moving vehicle, make sure your hazard lights are on, display an SMV emblem and have a pilot car accompany you on public roads with their hazard lights.

Be aware of any traffic build-up behind you on busy roadways; check your mirrors constantly to be aware of your surroundings. If significant traffic builds up behind you, pull off at the next available area, and allow the traffic to pass. The more courtesy you extend to other motorists, the more courtesy they will give you in return.

Display Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem

Display a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblem on either the towing vehicle or the implement being towed to alert motorists. Missouri law requires slow-moving vehicles, designed for use or normally operated at speeds less than 25 miles per hour, to have an SMV emblem displayed if operating on a public highway after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.

Use Appropriate Lights and Signals

When driving on public roads, use the appropriate lights on the vehicles and implements being transported. Farm tractors are required to have two forward-facing headlights and a red taillight that is visible for 500 feet under clear weather conditions. Tractors and farm trucks are required to use hazard lights (flashers) when operating on public roads. Equipment towed should have two red reflectors on both sides of the equipment.

Farmers should be courteous to other motorists when driving on public roads. Give the proper signal at least 100 feet before turning. If your equipment does not have working turn signals, learn the correct hand signals when changing lanes, making a turn, pulling onto the road or slowing down to stop.

What can a driver do?

Here are the top seven tips that drivers can take from Show-Me Farm Safety.

  1. Slow down when you see farm equipment
  2. Watch for hand signals and turn signals
  3. Do not speed past farm machinery
  4. Look out for the triangular slow-moving vehicle sign
  5. Don’t pull out in front of a slow-moving vehicle
  6. Do not expect equipment to run partially on the road shoulder
  7. Share the road


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