Harvest season in Uxbridge, Brock and Scugog means slow moving farm vehicles are on the roads

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Published September 1, 2022 at 11:01 am

It’s harvest season in rural Durham Region, and that means drivers need to be aware that country roads will soon be occupied by slow moving farm vehicles.

Drivers may experience temporary delays on rural roads due to farm machinery and motorists are asked to be patient and cautious when sharing the road with these vehicles to ensure safety for everyone.

Farmers have the important task of transporting the food that feeds our communities, and as part of that transportation they often use public roads to get from field to field, both day and night.

Safety tips to observe when coming across farm machinery on regional roads include:

  • Look for an orange triangle emblem on the back of any vehicle you do not recognize. This emblem means it’s a slow moving vehicle. Use caution.
  • Most farm equipment travels under 40 kilometres per hour. Slow your vehicle as soon as you see farm equipment on the road and be prepared to stop at all times.
  • Farm vehicles don’t always have brake lights or turn signals. Operators may not always be visible to demonstrate standard hand signals to show their intentions.

Be patient and wait for a safe opportunity to pass. When approaching a farm vehicle, consider the following:

  • Farm vehicles with long or wide equipment must sometimes swing wide to make turns. For example, if a tractor swings to the right, do not attempt to pass. It may still be turning left.
  • Farmers may be unable to pull off the road due to equipment weight or road shoulder conditions.
  • Some farm equipment takes up more than one travel lane. Machinery that is half on the road and half on the shoulder may suddenly move completely onto the road to avoid mailboxes or other obstructions on the shoulder. Often, there are protrusions from the tractor, which can be difficult to see.
  • Do not pass and then slow down or stop directly in front of the farm vehicle. Remember that large equipment cannot brake as quickly as a car. Give farmers a wide berth when passing.
  • Do not pass equipment at intersections. Equipment may turn without the ability to signal or see traffic behind the equipment.

Harvest season starts in the fall and will continue until the ground is frozen.

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