farm vehicle traffic

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COLUMBIA – MoDOT is reminding drivers that harvest season means more farm equipment will be using and crossing state roadways.

It is encouraging drivers to be patient with the farm equipment on the road, which will go slower than other vehicles.

But MoDOT Area Engineer Mike Schupp warns drivers trying to pass farm vehicles can also be dangerous on narrow roads.

“They can be as wide to 18, 18 and a half feet wide and when you’ve got a 20 to 22-foot roadway, they’re taking up a lot of that roadway,” Schupp said.

Since 2011, there have been 913 Missouri traffic crashes that involved farm equipment. Out of those, 23 were fatal and 41 were serious injury crashes.

Last year, there were 210 crashes with six being fatal.

Retired banker and current cattle farmer Bob Holem says drivers need to be patient with the farming equipment on the roads, and motorists should avoid back roads at all costs.

“Most farmers try to use secondary roads to get to their fields and stay off the main highways,” Holem said.

Holem also said he has seen several accidents due to drivers not realizing how long it takes for farm equipment to initially speed up on the roads.

“Motorists are not aware of the fact that it takes a while for grain trucks in particular to get up to speed,” Holem said.

Harvest season is scheduled to run through mid-November.