As more and more people choose to live in the country it’s common for people to ask “What do I do when I see a tractor on the road?” First and foremost, coming or going please slow down!
I have spent my fair share of time moving equipment from field to field! I have traversed a lot of county roads, state roads, US highways, sat at stop lights in tractors and quite honestly my palms still get a little sweaty.
I’m not only worried about the piece of equipment I’m driving, what I’m pulling and what’s around me but how the other drivers on the road are going to react coming at me and those coming up behind me. I’ve met lots of different kinds of drivers on the roads!
While this is what you see………
me taking up the whole road and inconveniencing you.
This is what I see………
and am doing the best I can to navigate a road that feels narrow, trying not to wipe out mailboxes, hit telephone poles, other vehicles, bikers, fences, how you are going to react to me and what the cars behind me are doing – you want past me and they want around me!
For me to get out of your way I have to have room, room for not only the tractor but the implement I am pulling and room to get back up on the road to move forward without hitting anything.
This is what my view is in front when I am completely on my side of the road,
and behind me.
I honestly don’t want to be on the road anymore than you want me there – just like you are trying to get to where you are going as quickly as possible so am I. This is my job. This is my commute!
What do I do when I see a tractor on the road?
3 things to keep in mind:
1. SLOW DOWN, please!
Being behind slow moving farm equipment for two miles is equivalent to waiting for 2 stoplights in town. Wether you meet a tractor or come up one slow down, I see you I promise. Be patient with me I will let you around I just need to make it safe for all of us.
2. LOOK AROUND
If you see a tractor coming down the road at you, look around, is there a place you can pull off – a drive way, level side road – even if your not quite to me yet and there is a good place to wait it is greatly appreciated. If you can’t get over very far but decide to stop just make sure that you aren’t directly across from any obstacles, it’s hard for me to get between you and a telephone pole, sign or mailbox – I appreciate that you pulled over and stopped but if there is an obstacle on my side we both are at a no pass. Believe me I am constantly watching for places that are safe and clear for me to get over.
3. BE PATIENT
I don’t want to hold you up any more than you want to be held up. I know where it is safe for me to pull over and also where I am going. I do know you are back there and I do know that you want around. One third of fatal tractor accidents happen on public roads. If you’re behind me please stay a safe distance back and when it’s time to go around me look twice to make sure there is no traffic coming at you.
Equipment is big there’s no doubt about it and while you are entitled to your half the road and I should be on mine, that just isn’t realistic.