Keep a sharp eye out for harvesters

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Harvest crews are running at full speed, making up for time lost to wet conditions earlier in the fall.

Big trucks, tractors and combines hurrying to and from the field, combined with hunters and normal traffic to make rural roads potentially dangerous places to travel.

"It's easy to become a little antsy when sharing the road with slow moving agricultural equipment," said Traffic Services Commander, Major Russ Stanczyk of the Nebraska State Patrol. "However, this is the time for all drivers to exercise caution and take great care when following or passing these big farm vehicles."

Motorists are reminded combines, grain carts, tractors and other agricultural implements typically travel at slower speeds, and because of their dimensions and loads, operators may not be able to see other traffic very well. He reminded drivers to be cautious when approaching, following or attempting to pass farm vehicles.

Operators of agricultural implements also are reminded they may travel on the shoulder of the roadway, when available. They are also reminded of the need for SMV warning triangles, and to use their flashing yellow caution lights whenever they are on the road. When turning left from a roadway into a field or farm entrance, operators are cautioned to be aware of vehicles attempting to pass them. If seatbelts are available in the implement they are driving, operators are encouraged to buckle up.

"By cultivating a little patience and common sense, we can make this harvest season a safe one on Nebraska roads," Major Stanczyk said.

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