Silage season is upon us, and what does that mean for our roadways? In farming communities, pedestrian and passenger vehicle traffic has increased with harvest season upon us and school back in session in most areas, and that means added stress on heavy silage trailer drivers. How do you compensate as a heavy equipment driver with extra traffic on the roadways? Hitchcock’s is here to help.
Heavy silage safety tips
The increase in agricultural traffic in 2020 means more farming vehicles driving alongside civilian traffic. Agricultural vehicles are required to follow all rules of the road. Ag drivers must have appropriate licensing and insurance, as well as fully operational lights in the front and rear of the vehicle.
When driving with a silage trailer, always make sure you can perform a proper stop. This means allowing yourself enough time to come to a full and complete stop. This is especially important to remember on the farm roadways that are not as well marked. Be sure to stay alert for all traffic!
It all starts with preparation
Always remember to conduct safety meetings with your silage crew before each day. Make it clear that your expectations for safe driving speed and proper driving protocol are to be followed. That means not having distractions or non-work-related passengers in the cab with any driver. Whether by radio or other means, keep clear and constant lines of communication open with the silage trailer driver. This can help them avoid traffic or weather-related delays that could put your silage transport in danger on the roadways.
Be sure to make sure that all marker lights and tail lights are working properly and are visible. Make sure all your mirrors are clean and angled properly so you can see pedestrians and other low-profile hazards. All support is good support when we are playing it safe and keeping everyone protected on the road.
Farmer and driver liabilities
Several states do not require farms to cover trucks with open loads of farm product such as silage. If you are in one of these states, you need to be aware of flying debris. Liability also comes into play for other issues such as truck rollovers, collisions, etc.