One Road Safety Campaign

Driving farm equipment on the road is tough. You’ve got a large, slow-moving vehicle on a road that seems to get busier every year. You might have had a near-miss before, or know someone who has. The driver behind you may be nervous and find your large equipment intimidating. Or perhaps they are an aggressive driver, eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to pass you. You can’t control what other drivers will do when you’re on the road, but you can control what you do. If you do everything you can to ensure road safety before, during, and after the trip, you can take some aspects of road safety into your own hands.

Pre Trip Inspections

A pre-trip inspection is your way of making sure that your farm equipment is fit for the road before travel. Pre-trip inspections are important for your safety and the safety of those who share the road with you. If you can get into the habit of completing an inspection before each trip, you can catch any defects with your equipment before they become a major problem. A minimal time investment of looking over your gear before you use it can save a huge time loss down the road if anything were to fail.

Here are some sample checkpoints for your inspection:

  • Mirrors properly adjusted and clear of dirt and debris
  • All lights functioning properly
  • Slow-moving vehicle sign in place and visible
  • Tire pressures are correct, no signs of cracks, bulges, or other defects. Wheel bolts are tight.
  • All fluid levels are correct
  • Brake pedals locked together
  • Implements are in the Travel position
  • Hydraulic hoses show no signs of cracks, wear, chafing, leaks, or other defects

Once your pre-trip inspection is complete and you’re ready to hit the road, don’t forget to buckle your seat belt if you have a Roll Over Protection System installed.

On the road

If the road connects your farm to your fields, it becomes an extension of your workplace. Everyone has the right to a safe workplace. If you have a line of traffic behind you and you can’t safely pull over, stay on the road. Tractor rollovers are one of the most common serious agricultural injuries, and they can happen very quickly if the weight of your machine is on a soft or narrow road shoulder. Pulling over to let traffic pass is a courtesy, but keep your safety top of mind at all times.

The trip home

The trip home is the other half of your time on the road, and another pre-trip inspection may be necessary. Take a quick look at your gear before you’re on the pavement: what passed your inspection to get to the field could have changed after a day of wear and tear on the machine. It might seem impractical to do this if you’re doing a job that requires multiple trips, like spreading manure, but if you catch something that’s wearing quicker than usual it can save you a lot of problems later on.

The One Road Campaign

During our One Road Campaign, Farm Safety Nova Scotia will be promoting road safety and awareness to both farmers and the driving public. Check out the One Road Section of our website to access resources and more information about the campaign. New this year, our Safety Checklist stickers are available in English, French and Spanish. Whether you are driving farm equipment or are a public motorist, remember that there is only One Road, and many ways to use it. Road safety is a two-way street.