Look out for large farm equipment on roads

Another planting season is upon us and that means large farm equipment will be sharing rural roads across southwest Minnesota with other vehicles.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation this week reminded motorists traveling on these roads to keep a look out for farm equipment. MNDOT ask motorists and farm equipment operators to safely share the roads during planting season.

Since 2021, MnDOT says there have been 446 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota, resulting in eight deaths and 171 injuries.

“Farmers need our highways to prepare and plant fields at this time of year. Sunrise and sunset can also reduce visibility of farm equipment while driving. Drivers should slow down and prepare to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. 

MnDOT says farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. 

MnDOT recommends the following for motorists and farm equipment operators:


• Slow down and watch for farm equipment, particularly at dusk and dawn on two-lane rural roads

• Use caution when approaching farm equipment

• Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment 

• Drive with headlights on at all times

• Wait for a safe place to pass

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

Living in an agricultural region, we all know the important role farmers play in southwest Minnesota. As we rush around in our vehicles to get to work or getting to the grocery store, etc., remember to look out for large farm equipment. Better to be patient. Causing an accident will only delay your trip and lead to unwanted consequences.


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