I work in a more rural part of my state and at this time of year I usually encounter a tractor or two on the road during my commute. It seems that some drivers aren’t quite sure how to maneuver around these machines safely. Here are some helpful tips from the Farm Bureau Federation on how to safely share the road with a tractor.
- Be Patient. Tractors do cause traffic delays, but most courteous tractor operators will pull over and allow traffic to pass when it’s safe. Note: for safety, most tractor drivers will not pull over in front of mailboxes, traffic signs or utility poles.
- Slow Down. The top speed for most tractors or other farm equipment is 20-24 mph. That means that a car traveling at 55 mph can close a 300 foot gap and overtake a tractor in about 5 seconds.
- Look for the Triangle. Many tractors have a Slow Moving Vehicle Placard (the big orange triangle) mounted on the back to warn other drivers that the tractor is moving slower than 25 mph.
- Be Prepared. Be aware that just around the next corner a slow moving tractor could be waiting. If you know tractors are in the area, keep a look out.