Tyreright outlines steps to keep farm equipment safe during road travel

Your local tyre expert Tyreright offers some timely advice for safe road travel as farmers gear up for a big planting season

Tyreright offer a wide range of application-specific tyres for farm equipment that are designed to provide long service and low total cost of ownership such as the Alliance 363VF tyre shown here that can decrease ground pressure and reduce soil compaction

Tyreright highlights five strategies for safer road travel when operating ag equipment like tractors, planters, big combines and grain carts later in the season at harvest.

Farm equipment is large and slow-moving, especially compared to other vehicle traffic, and poses some unique challenges when operating on the road.

Tyreright reminds us there are steps farmers can take to reduce the risk of accidents, protect their equipment, and ensure the safety of operators.

In many rural regions, ag equipment like tractors, combines, and grain carts often take to the road. Farm equipment is large and slow-moving, especially compared to other vehicle traffic, and poses some unique challenges when operating on the road.

Fortunately, there are steps farmers can take to reduce the risk of accidents, protect their equipment, and ensure the safety of operators.

Below are some best practices for safely roading ag equipment—whether you’re driving a harvester in Spring or pulling a planter in Autumn.

Tyreright offers specialist farm equipment tyres that deliver the best performance in the paddock and are able to operate at low inflation pressures while at speed on the road steel-belted construction tyres with flexible sidewalls efficiently dissipate heat

Five Tips for taking Farm Equipment on the road

1. Plan Ahead

Before hitting the road, plan ahead and inspect your route in advance, keeping an eye out for potential threats like low power lines, narrow bridges, railroad crossings, weak shoulders, and washed-out areas. It’s also a good idea to get a feel for local traffic patterns and avoid travelling at peak times or avoid travelling busy roads altogether, if possible.

2. Make Yourself Visible

One of the best steps you can take to improve safety while driving farm equipment on the road is to make your machine visible. While every state has its own laws about signage, lights, and reflectors, in general, you’ll want to:

  • Have a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblem that’s properly mounted, clean, and visible (if it’s faded, replace it)
  • Ensure all your lights—headlights, taillights, turn signals, and flashing amber lights—are working correctly before hitting the road
  • Outline equipment with reflective tape at its widest points
  • Consider adding taillights to towed equipment

Many farmers will run their rear spotlights while roading—you may think this makes your equipment more noticeable, but it can have the opposite effect and trick motorists into thinking they see headlights. One of the best strategies for ensuring the visibility of ag equipment on the road is also one of the simplest: travel during the day whenever possible.

3. Take Your Time and Stay Alert

Events like planting and harvest are time-sensitive and you often have just a small window to accomplish a ton of work. That said, take your time and maintain control of your equipment at all times.

Follow posted speed limits, adjust how fast you drive to road conditions, and take turns cautiously. Stay focused on the road and maintain awareness of any potential hazards. If you think driving a few kph slower is going to put you behind schedule, imagine the delay an accident will cause.

4. Respect Other Road Users

Everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere, whether it’s home after work or to another field. If there is a line of vehicles piling up behind you, pull over and let them pass when it’s safe to do so. Make sure to communicate your intentions on the road—many farmers will use their equipment’s signals in combination with hand signals to help motorists understand what they’re doing.

5. Follow the Rules of the Road

Different places have different laws and regulations for driving farm equipment on the road. Make sure to know (and follow) local requirements, display the appropriate signage, and adhere to any weight restrictions.

In addition to following the rules specific to driving farm machinery on the road, it’s also imperative to follow the rules of the road. This includes:

  • Stopping at stop signs
  • Yielding at yield signs
  • Obeying the speed limit
  • Using turn signals
  • Wearing a seatbelt

While it’s common for farm children to ride in ag equipment with family members, you should avoid the practice unless your machine is equipped with another seat and accompanying safety equipment, like a seatbelt.

Children are considerably more likely than adults to die as a result of falling from a tractor and being run over—approximately 90% of such fatalities happen with children under 15 years old.

Tyre Tips for Safely Roading Farm Equipment

Visually Inspect Tyres

Inspect the tyres on any machine that will touch the road—including towed equipment—and look for signs of damage. It’s a lot easier and significantly safer to replace a tyre in the barn than it is on the side of the road.

Understand Your Tyre’s Speed and Load Ratings

Use your tyre manufacturer’s speed and load ratings to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum speed the tyre can safely travel or push a tyre past its carrying capacity—both of which can cause big problems on the road.

Inflate to Proper Pressure

The best thing you can do to enhance the performance and safety of your tyres is to inflate them to the proper pressure. Radial tyres require higher pressures when roading than they do for fieldwork—it enables them to put their optimal footprint on the road, more effectively dissipate heat, provide the most control, and deliver the best possible ride. Before driving farm equipment on the road, make sure to inflate tyres to the optimal level for road travel.

Central tyre inflation systems (CTIS) offer an easy solution for increasing tyre pressure for roading and decreasing it for fieldwork—they allow operators to adjust tyre pressure from the comfort of their cab with the push of a button.

Contact Tyreright, your local tyre experts to discuss which tyre is right for your farming needs and get free quotes or arrange on-farm field tyre services today.

See more at www.tyreright.com.au or call 1300 670 245 to find your closest Tyreright Service Centre.