Sharing the roads with farm equipment

CENTERVILLE, SD (KELO) — Spring planting will soon begin in eastern South Dakota, and drivers can expect to see more farm equipment on the roads. This includes everything from sprayers and fertilizer floaters to chemical trucks, tillage equipment and planters.

All things that need a little extra space and are moving a lot slower.

Planting season could start as soon as this weekend for Tim Ostrem. This means the Centerville area farmer will be moving large equipment from field to field.

“We try to be safe on the road and be conscientious of where we are at on the road and who’s coming,” said Ostrem.

It’s important for other drivers to stay alert too and watch for the slow moving farm equipment, most of which is going under 25 mph.

“Be prepared to slow up first because you know we aren’t going that fast, and then to be patient sometimes you’re going to have to wait for your chance to pass us if there’s on coming traffic,” said Ostrem.

“The key is just to keep a safe following distance from the farmers, allow yourself more time to get to and from your destination, and make sure that you are passing in a safe location, we definitely don’t want any passing in a no passing zone,” said Sgt. Matt Koll, South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Farmers do their part by using large mirrors, flashing lights and slow moving vehicle signs. They also try to take gravel roads as much as possible.

“Whenever we go on a public highway or even a township road we turn those warning flashers on and that helps the public be aware that we are out on the public road, that we are going slower,” said Ostrem.

“You also want to ensure that everything is secure, that you’re not going to have a loss of equipment or not going to have any large rocks or boulders or large chunks of dirt or mud that’s going to fall off the vehicle and cause an unsafe condition,” said Sgt. Koll.

Working hard to keep everyone safe, while growing the food to feed the world.

“We are out here doing our job, we’re trying to get our fields taken care of, get our crops in the ground, and we are not going to be out of the road any more than we need to be,” said Ostrem. .

The most common type of crash that they do see involving farm equipment are people trying to pass the vehicles when it’s not safe.

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