7 safety tips for driving farm equipment on the road

tractor on the road

1SMV signs
Pennsylvania and Ohio laws require you to place a slow-moving vehicle reflector on any machine that travels the road slower than 25 mph. Always point the triangle up, keep the SMV emblem clean to maximize reflectivity, and replace the emblem when it fades, normally every 2-3 years.

Mark the edges of tractors and machines with reflective tape and reflectors. Consider installing retrofit lighting on older machinery to increase visibility.

Turn on your lights, but turn off rear spotlights when going onto the road. From a distance, they can be mistaken for headlights.

4On the road
Avoid the highway during rush hours and bad weather. Ensure that you have adequate lighting when driving before sunrise or after sunset.

5Pilot cars
Use pilot cars if you are going a considerable distance. Hang an orange flag out the window of the pilot vehicle.

Consider installing mirrors on equipment see motorists around you.

7Follow the law
Follow all transportation laws.

Source: Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, www.pfb.com/ruralroadsafety.

(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)

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  1. Thanks for mentioning marking the edges of tractors with reflectors while on the road. I want to start driving my tractor on the road since it’s easier to take it back to the farm. I want to make sure that I am safe as well as my son who sometimes drives it back as well.

  2. I liked your tip of marking the edges of tractors with reflective tape to stay safe on the road. My wife and I are wanting to move to a farm and we were wondering how we can make our agricultural equipment safe. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should add reflective tape to our tractors once we get one.


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