Safe Transporation of Farm Equipment Section 1

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Section 1- Safe Transport of Farm Equipment on Public Roads

According to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance program, 13 percent of farm related fatalities across Canada are traffic related, and most of these involve tractors. As a farmer, you often travel long distances between fields, and this requires you to travel on public roads throughout Alberta. Farm equipment is oversized and slow compared to other vehicles using the roads, which can result in collisions and other accidents.

To avoid traffic collisions between your farm equipment and motorists, you need to ensure your equipment is clearly visible and follow all regulated requirements for lighting and signage.

Motorists must do their part by being vigilant and watching for farm equipment on the roads, especially during peak farming seasons in the spring and fall.

Common Types of Incidents Involving Farm Equipment

Before you look at the material in the shaded box on the next page, test your knowledge of common types of accidents involving farm equipment.

1. What is the most frequent type of single-vehicle incident?
  1. A rollover as a result of turning the corner too fast
  2. A rollover due to loss of control from towing a heavy load too fast
  3. A rollover into the ditch from the tractor being driven too close to the shoulder of the road.
2. What is the most frequent type of multi-vehicle collision?
  1. Farm machinery being hit as it is turning onto a public road.
  2. Collision as a motorist attempts to pass farm machinery on the road.
  3. Rear-end collision due to motorists miscalculation of the rate at which they are approaching farm machinery and consequently running into the rear of it.
3. In what three-month period do almost half of all collisions occur?
  1. March, April and May
  2. July, August and September
  3. December, January and February.
There are many situations that can result in collisions on roads.

Incidents Involving Farm Equipment
  • The most frequent type of single-vehicle incident is a farm tractor being driven too close to the shoulder of the road and rolling into the ditch.
  • The most common type of multiple-vehicle collision is a farm machine being hit as it is turning onto a public road from a farm road or another public road.
  • There is a high number of rear-end collisions, usually occurring at intersections and caused by motorists underestimating the size and speed of the farm equipment.
  • A large number of collisions occur while the farm equipment is making a left hand turn where operators fail to signal or the signal is not visible to other traffic.
  • Almost half of all collisions occur in the period July to September, the peak harvest time.

Back to main document
Section 2 - The Traffic Safety Act

Other Documents in the Series

  Safe Transporation of Farm Equipment Section 1 - Current Document
Hazards on Rural Roads
Types of Road Incidents Resulting in Injury and Death
Prevention of Farm Equipment Incidents on Public Roads
Safe Driving Tips
Defensive Driving Tips for You as a Rural Motorist
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kenda Lubeck.
This information published to the web on March 24, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 24, 2017.