Prairie Post (West Edition)

Be extra cautious at harvest time

- Courtesy Agricultur­e for Life

With the summer season coming to an end, Alberta farmers are turning their focus to this year’s harvest. This means there will be an increase in slow-moving equipment on rural roads, which can create a hazard for farm equipment operators and motorists.

According to The Canadian Agricultur­al Injury Reporting program, 13 per cent of farm related fatalities across Canada are traffic related, and most of these involve tractors. The most frequent type of single-vehicle collision is a farm tractor being driven too close to the shoulder of the road and rolling into the ditch. The most common type of multiple-vehicle collision is a farm machine being hit as it is turning onto a public road.

Remember to share the road and be patient.

Travel Tips for Farmers and Ranchers (

• Avoid high traffic times, busy roads, bad weather and night driving.

• Make sure all warning flashers, flags, lights and slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems are clean, visible and working properly.

• Watch for passing vehicles when making left turns.

• Avoid overhead powerlines.

• Stay alert for hazards such as soft shoulders, narrow bridges, loose gravel, bumps, potholes and deep ruts.

• For more tips watch our video:­U Travel Tips for Motorists (­I)

• Be aware of slow-moving farm machinery. The typical speed of a piece of farm machinery is 3040 km/hour. You need to slow down to react! Be patient.

• Watch for vehicles marked with slowmoving vehicle signs (a bright orange triangle with a red border) and flashing amber lights.

• Do not drive in equipment blind spots where operators cannot see you. Keep back a safe distance – at least 50 feet, when following.

• Be aware of intersecti­ons where farm equipment might turn.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Ag for Life’s new safety initiative; the Rural Safety Unit. This mobile educationa­l trailer is on-the-road traveling to schools, communitie­s, fairs, festivals and other events to educate, encourage and promote rural and farm safety.

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