Safely Trans­port Over­sized Loads

The Drumheller Mail - - AGSAFE FAMILY -

With larger farm equip­ment comes larger trans­porta­tion chal­lenges. Equip­ment wider than high­way lanes poses a haz­ard to not only the equip­ment op­er­a­tor, but also to other mo­tor ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tors. Tall equip­ment can come into con­tact with low-hang­ing wires, bridges and other vi­tal pieces of in­fra­struc­ture.

Col­li­sions with other ve­hi­cles is a ma­jor con­cern while trans­port­ing all farm equip­ment on pub­lic road­ways, but the dan­ger is com­pounded when the load is wider and taller than in­fra­struc­ture can ac­com­mo­date. Not only are col­li­sions with other mo­tor ve­hi­cles a con­cern, so are col­li­sions with in­fra­struc­ture like guard rails, power and tele­phone wires, bridges, and rail cross­ing mark­ers.

Un­der­stand­ing some points and tak­ing some key pre- cau­tions can help you get over­sized loads from the farm­yard to the field and back again.

Take the time to per­form a pre-oper­a­tional check of the equip­ment you will be trans­port­ing. En­sure that all lights are work­ing and that any warn­ing signs are in good con­di­tion and af­fixed.

Be­fore head­ing out, make sure to plan the route care­fully. Take a drive and see what in­fra­struc­ture is on your route. Make note of the heights and widths of low wires, bridges, signs and other po­ten­tial ob­sta­cles. If the load you are trans­port­ing is go­ing to come into con­tact with any in­fra­struc­ture, plan an­other route. (If you are un­sure of the clear­ance un­der over­head lines, call your power utility.)

You may need a pi­lot ve­hi­cle for some over­sized loads. If you are trav­el­ling on a route with hills, blind curves or oth- er road fea­tures that re­strict sight lines, a pi­lot ve­hi­cle is manda­tory. You may want to con­sider us­ing a pi­lot ve­hi­cle when go­ing a fur­ther dis­tance or on a pub­lic road­way that ex­pe­ri­ences high traf­fic vol­umes. The pi­lot ve­hi­cle will give other driv­ers warn­ing that you are com­ing along with an over­sized load. (It’s a good idea to re­search the laws ap­pli­ca­ble in your ju­ris­dic­tion re­gard­ing pi­lot ve­hi­cles.)

It’s of­ten dif­fi­cult to see if there is a mo­tor ve­hi­cle fol­low­ing you. When try­ing to de­ter­mine if a ve­hi­cle is fol­low­ing be­hind you, don’t sud­denly sw­erve right to move your load out of your sight line. This could be mis­un­der­stood to a mo­tor ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tor be­hind you that it is safe to pass and could re­sult in a col­li­sion. In­stead, if you need to know, pull over to the right as far as pos­si­ble, park and get up from the op­er­a­tor’s seat and care­fully look around your load.

While driv­ing on pub­lic road­ways, make sure to watch for other mo­tor ve­hi­cles. They may be un­cer­tain how to be­have when ap­proach­ing or try­ing to pass you.

Visit agsafe­ty­week.ca and check out the re­sources in­clud­ing tool­box talks on top­ics like op­er­at­ing por­ta­ble augers, trans­port­ing over­sized loads and more.

About Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Safety Week:

Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Safety Week (CASW) is a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign fo­cus­ing on the im­por­tance of farm safety. CASW takes place ev­ery year dur­ing the third week of March. In 2017, CASW takes place March 12 to 18. CASW 2017 is pre­sented by Farm Credit Canada. For more in­for­ma­tion visit agsafe­ty­week.ca.

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