Traveling the back roads during harvest, safety first!
Fall colors, crisp air and winding roads are all siren calls to hit the back roads and immerse yourself in this most beautiful of seasons that comes and goes so quickly. Crisp apples and pumpkin pie fill stands at festivals. Mulled cider and spice cake, pumpkin mazes and watching farmers work in the field, these are all activities we love to witness during the autumn of the year. While there is fun and memory making activities galore, we want the memories to be fond ones, not a nightmare of an accident with a farm vehicle. While traveling the back roads, we need to keep our eyes peeled for farm trucks, tractors and combines as they rattle down the road from place to place.
Farmers are working, and the back roads are their highway from point A to point B. Along with the harvest equipment, there is often a family member trailing behind bringing a truck so they can move from field to field. There are farm trucks by the side of the road and spouses bringing out lunches and dinners to tired hungry crews. When equipment breaks down sometimes there is no cleared area in a field for farmers to work and they are literally repairing the equipment almost on the side of the road. My husband was broke down the other day and reported to me that a car went “flying by without even looking”. This makes me shiver knowing my husband and son could easily be the victim of a vehicle going too fast for conditions and not able to stop in time.
Just taking a minute to slow down and be aware of harvest all around us as we gawk at the beauty of God’s season will help keep us all safe. Watching though is not always enough, farm vehicles move slow and it is easy to be right upon them in a second. Many of the back roads around us are gravel and it is easy to slide if you try to come to a quick stop. Drivers in a hurry tend to want to go around a convoy of farm vehicles and sometimes take amazing risks just to not have to wait for them to arrive at the field they are driving to. While it seems the farmer is sometimes in the middle of the road and not moving over, sometimes the ditch is too deep and they worry about tipping the top heavy machinery. Most farmers and workers will try to get over if possible, but be aware this is not always possible, and sometimes the farmer just doesn’t notice.
The old adage, “share the road” is a good one not only for motorcycles and bikes, but farm equipment as well. Have a great fall season, see the sights, and leave with plenty of time built in for a slow moving vehicle or two going about their business!