SPENCER COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) You’ll be seeing more large farm equipment on Tri-State roads soon as more farmers start harvesting their crops. That means drivers will have to be more careful around them.
Some farmers already started harvesting their crops. Farmers at Giles Farms in Spencer County are preparing for the start of their corn and soybean harvesting.
“According to the sampling we’ve done, we think we have some that we can start and try,” said Paul Giles, who has farmed for more than 45 years. He says drivers should start being more aware of how much room larger farm equipment need going down, and turning on highways and county roads.
“The other equipment, like the combine, even in transport mode, when you have the head removed, it’s still 16-17 feet wide, and a lot of the roads we have to travel on, those single lanes are only 10 feet,” Giles said.
Statistics from Kentucky State Police say there have been more than eleven hundred collisions involving farm equipment from September of 2017 to this year, including 221 collisions with an injury. Clint Hardy of the U.K. Extension Office in Daviess County says drivers should not be too close to farm machinery, and give them more room to turn. He adds while more have rear view cameras, they still have to deal with blind spots.
“Most of the modern equipment now has rearview cameras so that the operator of the equipment can see people behind them. It’s not always the case. In some cases, visibility is blocked behind them. People just have to be patient,” he explained.
Hardy also says people should use escort vehicles to gage a safe distance between their vehicle and farm equipment, adding there’s no reason to approach within 50 feet of one.
Giles also says Indiana state law requires large farm equipment such as this combine to pull over if at least three vehicles are behind it, but he adds there must be enough room for them to pull over before they can do that.
(This story was originally published on September 15, 2022)