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MnDOT warns drivers of farm equipment on roads during planting season

MnDOT warns drivers of farm equipment on roads during planting season Photo: KSTP

May 08, 2019 09:54 AM

Motorists are reminded to be aware of the potential for large farm equipment on highways due to planting season.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation said drivers need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roads.

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MnDOT says there have been 386 reports of crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota over the past three years, resulting in 166 injuries and six deaths. The department said inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes.

The size and weight of farm equipment makes it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop, and sometimes results in wide turns and part of the equipment crossing the center line. They can also create large blindspots, MnDOT said, making it difficult for operators to see all approaching vehicles.

MnDOT says motorists should:

  • Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment
  • Watch for debris dropped by trucks. It is safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road
  • Wait for a safe place to pass
  • Wear seatbelts
  • Drive with headlights on at all times

Farm equipment operators should:

  • Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible
  • Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph 
  • Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night

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