Drivers cautioned about farming vehicles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drivers cautioned about farming vehicles

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MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

From growing season to harvest season, farmers are often driving their equipment out on the road.

For drivers that can mean slower traffic and sometimes impatience can take its toll. Even the fastest farming vehicles only go about 25-miles per hour.

Valdosta farmer Gary O'Neal experienced it firsthand Monday afternoon when his tractor was totaled after a van rear ended him, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt.

Colquitt county officials say those wrecks are pretty rare, but they can have serious consequences.

"The incidents that we've had has been pretty serious because you've got a vehicle like a small passenger car that's pretty malleable that the metals going to give way and you're hitting a piece of heavy duty machinery, made out of steel, and they don't give to easily," said Sergeant Rand Stephens, Colquitt County Sheriff's Office.

Some vehicles are so large they may not even fit into one driving lane. In that case, farmers often move their vehicles to the side to help oncoming traffic pass by, but if mistaken as a sign for cars behind to pass, the situation could become very dangerous.

"They may take the initiative and try to go ahead and pass them. You want to make sure they're actually turning and not just pulling over for oncoming traffic to come because that's when you have those head on collisions, that could be real devastating," said Matt Roberts, Colquitt County Account Extension Agent.

It's also best to keep a good distance behind the vehicle on the road and officials say there are ways to safely pass if you're in a hurry.

"If you do that, you can't see around real well. So, we ask that you just hang back, you know, one hundred, two hundred feet. Make sure that you've got enough time, and enough room to pass," said Roberts.

If unsure how safe it is to pass the farming vehicle, drivers are encouraged to be patient and hang tight.

Farmers are also encouraged to make sure their flashers are working properly on the back of their tractors and drivers are asked to be on the lookout for those flashers and caution triangles to know when to slow down.

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