As the weather starts to get cooler and the color of the leaves start to change, farmers will be preparing for harvest. It has taken a lot of work for row crops to get to this point. The soil was prepared. Seed was planted and fertilized while keeping weeds under control. Harvest can be a very exciting time, but farm safety is always a main concern for farmers.
Farming is a very physically demanding workplace. Aside from this, awareness of all the equipment’s moving parts and the surroundings is important. One wrong move could result in serious injury. According to theNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), tractors claim 125 lives a year in the United States. Education is key to make sure that everyone understands farm safety during harvest.
Whether you are directly involved with farming or just passing through the countryside, farm safety is very important. Farmers are trying to get from field to field, similarly to how you go from home to work and back again. We all want to avoid any accidents and arrive safely. Let’s review some important farm safety during harvest.
Leave some space
We’ve all been there. You should have been at a meeting 5 minutes ago, and everything possible seems to be adding more time to the commute. During harvest time, the culprit quite possibly is farm equipment. Simply put, please share the road! Farmers aren’t trying to be a nuisance! Trust me! They do not want to be on the road any longer than required. Leave earlier if you can. Stay back, and give the operator space, because they may be pulling into a field up ahead.
Pass with extreme caution
Defensive driving is always key. If it appears that the coast is clear, after checking at least twice, pass with extreme caution. Give yourself plenty of room and time to get around the tractor and implement. Sometimes passing may require getting around a small caravan of farm machinery. It may be just as easy to slow down, stay back and enjoy your surroundings!
Think twice before pulling out
Farm safety during harvest also involves delivering the crop to a local elevator or back to the farm to put in a grain bin. Farmers usually do this by use of a semi truck or wagons. When these are loaded, they are extremely heavy. Why is that important, you ask? Great question! It takes considerably more time to get slowed down and stopped. So, if you are at a stop sign and see a semi or wagons coming, consider it full of grain! Here are the next things to consider:
- Will the semi driver have to slow down if I pull out now?
- Is my next turn coming up soon after pulling out?
If the answer to either one of these questions is yes, please wait. Do not pull out in front of a semi loaded with grain unless you want that semi to end up in your back seat. Your awareness about this could help prevent an accident.
Pay attention around parked trucks
Have you ever been driving along and come across trucks parked along the road? The semi trucks or wagons that are parked along the road are waiting for the combine to fill it with grain. Farmers do their best to get over and give visual warnings. The trucks do not pull into the fields because it can be very difficult to get out, especially when loaded. Slow down and proceed with caution!
While it may seem like an inconvenience to many, please remember that our farmers work hard to put food on our tables, directly and indirectly. In many instances, these are family-run operations that have been passed on from generation to generation. Slow down, enjoy the countryside, and be sure to respect those who feed you. Above all, help farmers safely get from field to field as they teach the next generation how to tend to the land!
We can all do our part to be defensive drivers. In the unfortunate event that an accident does occur, proper coverage becomes very important. To make sure you have the right automobile insurance for all of your needs, click on the button below.