How to Safely Share the Road With Farm Equipment

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Combine in field

During the Spring and Fall, the volume of farm equipment appearing on the road tremendously increases. Farmers are working hard to plant and harvest their crops in a very narrow window of time. They rely on large equipment designed to aid them in these tasks, equipment that is not designed to match the speed of a common automobile on the road. Generally, this equipment will be travelling no more than 30 mph and approaching them too quickly may occur faster than anticipated. Keep in mind that this is a very dangerous time for the farmer as well. According to NC Department of Transportation, in 2018 there were 220 farm equipment related accidents on the roads in North Carolina. That’s at least one every other day!

There are several key principles you need to follow to safely navigate these types of situations. Often times it may seem easy to pass a tractor without even slowing down, but remember that the equipment operator may not be able to see you as easily. Always slow down for farm equipment and give the farmer a chance to be aware that you are behind them. They may pull over for you and let you by, but don’t immediately assume that is what they are doing. Often times larger equipment need to make wide turns, so they may veer off to the side of the road just before making the turn. Mistaking this for pulling over could be costly. New equipment may come with traffic signals, but older equipment may require the operator to use hand signals. Be aware that a hill or a curve may hide an approaching vehicle in the other lane. Never maneuver to pass unless you are certain it is safe. Above all, be patient. Everyone involved wants to get to their destination safely and patience goes a long way to make that happen.

Key points

  1. Be patient
  2. Keep your distance
  3. Watch for the farmer’s signals
Hand signals

Sourced from