With spring upon us motorists are advised to keep an eye out for large farm equipment on area roads and farmers to keep an eye on road conditions. The number one cause of farm-related fatalities in Canada is machinery roll overs.

Spring signals return of farm equipment on roads

Thirteen per cent of farm-related fatalities across Canada are due to traffic, and most involved tractors.


According to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting program, 13 per cent of farm-related fatalities across Canada are due to traffic, and most involved tractors.

During the busy spring season, farmers often travel long distances between fields, and this requires transporting equipment on public roads throughout rural Alberta. Farm equipment is oversized and slow compared to other vehicles using the roads and, when certain procedures are not met, can lead to collisions and other incidents.

“To avoid traffic collisions between motorists and farm equipment, farmers should ensure their equipment is clearly visible and follows all the regulated requirements for lighting and signage,” says Nicole Hornett, farm safety specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). “Motorists also need to do their part by driving defensively, like slowing down near farm equipment, keeping their distance and watching for farms where equipment may be turning.”

The number one cause of farm-related fatalities in Canada is machinery roll overs. “To minimize the risk of severe injury or death, operators should be adequately trained to drive the machinery and all tractors should be equipped with roll-over protective structures (ROPS),” says Hornett. “Unless safe to do so, resist the urge to move closer to the ditch to let motorists pass, even just one wheel into the gravel can cause the driver to lose control and roll the equipment. In order for a ROPs to be effective, operators also need to wear the seatbelt.”

Visibility while on public roads is essential. Check that all lights are functional and clean. Use reflective tape and reflectors in the event that large equipment is required to travel in dim lighting conditions. In Canada, reflective material should be red and white strips. You can purchase reflective tape in kits or by the foot at local farm or hardware stores.

Be sure to clean farm equipment prior to transportation to minimize the risk of collision due to poor visibility. Dust-covered signage and lights make farm machinery less visible to motorists and dust-covered windows and mirrors on machinery causes poor visibility for the operator, who may not see oncoming traffic.

“It’s important to note that regulated requirements for lighting and signage on public roadways include the use of a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign,” explains Hornett. “The SMV sign must be securely mounted, clean and not faded. It must be positioned on the rear of the tractor or towed implement and clearly visible.

For more information on the safe transportation of farm equipment on public roads, see AF’s Make it Safe, Make it Visible or go to www.agriculture.alberta.ca/farmsafety for more information on farm safety.


Just Posted

Ponoka’s St. Augustine Queens hoping to add a provincial crown

Volleyball squad makes first appearance at provincial championship since ??

November is Family Violence Prevention Month

The month of November is Family Violence Prevention Month and Alberta has… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Ponoka Festival of Trees

Paige Hinton sings during the Senior’s Candy Cane Coffee Friday, Nov. 15.… Continue reading

Future of Parent Link unknown after province announces changes

Likely less programs for children as scope increases to include older kids

Fort Ostell Museum, Ponoka FCSS make their requests to council

Museum deals with drug dealers and operates tight budget

VIDEO: Ron MacLean says he doesn’t believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist

Sportsnet fired Cherry on Nov. 11, two days after controversial on-air comments during ‘Coach’s Corner’

Red Deer Rebels beat up 7-1 by Raiders

Rebels look to rebound Saturday at home against Hurricanes

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

Trudeau to take sober approach to unveiling new cabinet for minority mandate

Liberals survived a bruising campaign that diminished Trudeau’s stature as a champion of diversity

Lowe’s says it will close 34 ‘underperforming’ stores across six provinces

The stores include 26 Ronas, six Lowe’s and two Reno-Depots

Notley kicked out of legislature for comment on election watchdog firing bill

When Speaker Nathan Cooper directed Notley to apologize, she refused

Most Read