Dealing with Machinery on the Road

Dealing with Machinery on the Road

Dealing with Machinery on the Road. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Road construction crews aren't the only ones to be aware of this summer as we get behind the wheel. It's also the season for slow moving farm machinery- including trucks, tractors, and combines- to occasionally use the same roadway. Whether the sharing of the traffic lanes takes place in the more congested areas or the wide open spaces of the northwest, the general advice from Director Katy Coba of the Oregon Department of Agriculture is the same.

COBA:  Oregon motorists hear a lot about, in the summertime and safe driving- a lot more drivers on the road, often that's the time you have road construction. So they are constantly hearing the message, slow down. This is the exact same message. If you see farm equipment on the road, we just need you to slow down.

It is legal for farmers to drive equipment on public roads. Farmers normally try to avoid using higher traveled roads as much as possible, but sometimes that just can't happen. Coba has advice for farmers as well.

COBA:  Extra caution, look around you before you are turning right or left, realize there are going to be some motorists that are going to be irritated and in places where you can pull over and go by, let them do that.

A new law recently passed by the Oregon Legislature should improve road and highway safety as it involves farm vehicles and equipment. Among other things, it increases penalties for careless and reckless driving near and around tractors and farm vehicles. Meanwhile, with common sense and caution, this summer can be travel-safe for everyone on and off the farm. Coba urges motorists to go slow and be patient when they have to share the road with a tractor or other farm equipment.

COBA: Sometimes you can come up on a tractor and you think, boy this is the last thing I need. I'm late for an appointment. What's he even doing on the road? There are some cases where it's unavoidable for farm equipment to be on the road. In those cases, we would just like motorists to be thankful that Oregon farmers are producing food for them and just help them a little bit and be patient as they are moving equipment.

Coba says it isn't only farm vehicles that motorists need to look out for, but livestock as well- especially in the open range areas of rural Oregon.

COBA: Motorists are careful when they are going over mountain passes looking for deer and elk. They need to be thinking about the same thing when they are in range land and looking out for cattle or horses or what have you.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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