The 2014 wheat harvest is getting under way in the Golden Belt. It is a time of bounty for the area, but it can also be a time frustration if one is motorist or cyclist using the highways and byways.
Getting to your destination safely during harvest can best be accomplished by paying attention and having patience. Here are some harvest travel tips recommended by the Kansas Department of Transportation:
• Slow down when approaching farm equipment.
• Be aware of heavy truck traffic near grain elevators/co-ops. Grain trucks may stop on the road while waiting in line to unload grain. Find an alternate route away from elevators if possible
• Be aware of trucks, tractors pulling grain carts and combines pulling onto roads from farm fields. Also, be prepared for farm equipment to suddenly turn off the road into fields
• Don’t pass unless absolutely necessary. Before passing make sure the farm machinery isn’t turning left, determine if the road is wide enough for you and the equipment to safely share, look for roadside obstacles such as mailboxes, bridges or road signs that may cause the machinery to move to the center of the road and be sure there is adequate distance to safely pass.
• Don’t assume the farmer knows you are there.
• Remember, grain goes to market by train as well as truck. Be watchful when approaching railroad crossings.
And, as always:
• No texting. It’s against the law.
• Always wear seatbelts and use child safety restraints.
Remember, we must all, whether we drive a mini-van or combine, must respect one another and share the road.