Prevention of Farm Equipment Incidents on Public Roads

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You can prevent farm equipment incidents on public roads by focusing on three main areas:
  • Make your equipment safe and visible
  • Follow safe driving tips
  • Drive defensively.

Make It Safe, Make It Visible

Ensure your farm equipment is as visible as possible so approaching traffic has more lead time to react to a slow-moving vehicle.
  • Follow all regulated requirements for lighting and signage including the use of a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign.
  • Make sure that the SMV sign is clean, not faded and properly mounted. It must be on the rear of the tractor or towed implements and clearly visible. SMV signs must only be used on equipment traveling less than 40 km/hr.

This tractor displays a properly mounted slow-moving vehicle sign and follows the regulations for lighting.
  • Use reflective tape and reflectors for large equipment travelling at night or in dim lighting conditions. In Canada, reflective material should be red and orange strips. You can purchase tape in kits or by the foot.
  • Complete a safety check of tractor and trailed equipment before travel.
  • Use safety-type hitch pins, making sure they are securely fastened. Hitch trailed equipment to the drawbar.
  • Check all tires for air pressure, cuts and bumps and tread wear.

Properly inflated tires are a safety requirement.
  • Always lock brake pedals together for highway travel. Sudden braking on one wheel only at high speed could put the tractor into a dangerous skid.
  • Match the load to the towing vehicle. Loads that exceed the braking capacity of the towing vehicle can lead to dangerous situations should you have to stop suddenly.

This tractor is equipped with rearview mirrors on both sides of the tractor.
  • Equip your tractor with rearview mirrors, advance warning triangles and fire extinguishers.
  • Confirm that all lights are operating properly and are free of dust and dirt.

This tractor is well equipped with lights and reflectors.
  • Check towed equipment. Balance and properly secure loads to prevent shifting while in transit.
  • Equip heavy wagons with independent brakes.
  • Use safety chains and proper hitches when towing a load.
  • Transport winged and folding equipment in their narrowest configuration to give passing motorists enough space.

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Other Documents in the Series

  Safe Transporation of Farm Equipment Section 1
Hazards on Rural Roads
Types of Road Incidents Resulting in Injury and Death
Prevention of Farm Equipment Incidents on Public Roads - Current Document
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 25, 2009.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 24, 2017.