Sharing the road with farm equipment

Published: Nov. 6, 2017 at 9:46 PM CST
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Driving in rural areas often times means sharing the road with farm equipment.

"This time of year is a busy and a stressful time of year and it hits close to home because we never want to have these kinds of losses."

Losses University of Wisconsin-Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Specialist Cheryl Skjolaas says are all too familiar.

"Agricultural equipment has the right to be on the road and we need to share that road together," Skjolaas said.

Nick Ganser sees the road from a view higher than most, a spot he says can be scary. He grew up on a farm, worked his own farm for 20 years and has spent almost 20 working at UW's Agricultural Research Station as an equipment operator.

"Hopefully they slow down when they see me coming and keep as far to the right of the road as they can because I will have to get part way into the ditch to get by them because I am so wide and I can only go so far because of the dangers to flip the combine over," said Ganser.

But Skjolass says farmers have a responsibility, too.

"Strobe lights, flashers are working if they're present, that you've updated your SMV emblems," said Skjolass.

Skjolaas also says often times farmers are asked why they drive on the road and not the shoulder. She says driving on the shoulder can do more damage to the road edge and increase risk to equipment for an overturn.

It is illegal to pass farm machinery in a no passing zone in Wisconsin.