For grain farmers in the north of South Africa, autumn is one of the busiest times of the year as they work around the clock to harvest and transport their crops.
Grain SA has warned motorists in rural areas and small towns to expect to encounter large farm implements on the roads.
According to the organisation, members of the public should be mindful of all harvest equipment. They should exercise caution when encountering harvest equipment and vehicles on the road.
“Machinery hauling crops generally travel at very slow speeds and the motorists should take care when approaching slow-moving machinery,” Grain SA adds.
Drivers are urged to remain alert during the harvest season and must also be prepared to reduce speeds at any time or stop entirely.
“Motorists are encouraged to be patient and maintain a safe following distance and not attempt to pass farm machinery unless it is both safe and legal to do so.”
Here are some tips on how to drive more safely during harvest season:
- Keep an eye out for any machinery that may turn onto a road from a nearby field or driveway. As farm equipment is usually quite large, it can be hard for an operator to spot a car on the road.
- Drive slowly. Farm machinery vehicles usually drive quite slowly, but to avoid the danger of crashing into one, slow down and be vigilant.
- Maintain a safe distance, as this will allow both a motorist and farm machinery vehicle operator enough space to properly spot one another.