FLOYD, Va. (WFXR) – Late spring and early summer mean there will be more farm equipment on the road, and that means motorists will have to be more aware and ready to exercise more caution.
Farmers are moving equipment and machinery from field to field. On top of that, this is haymaking season, so plenty of hay is being cut and moved, too.
“It’s a challenge for us as we’re on the road because we can only go, you know, 16-18 miles an hour,” said Floyd County farmer Robert Janney. “(If) you’re running 55 (mph), you’ll be on us before your realize it. One little mistake could be devastating.”
Janney says he even waits until early mornings on weekends when there are fewer other vehicles on the road to move his gear. Other farmers do the same. Despite that, there are thousands of accidents involving farm vehicles and passenger and commercial vehicles every year. Some involve motorists becoming impatient, others are an issue of visibility.
“As you approach me, I’ll be able to see you in my rearview mirrors,” said Janney. If you get too close to me, I lose line of sight, and I don’t know if you’re back there or not.”
Farmers and authorities agree that motorists need to be patient. In most cases the people driving farm vehicles will look for places to pull off to allow traffic to pass.
“Time is something we all value, and we all just need to share a little bit of that time, and share the road,” Janney said. “Give me just a few minutes, I will try to get pulled over, I will try to get out of your way if at all possible. If not, just give me a little extra time, and I promise, I’ll do something to free you up and let you go.”