Prepare to Be Seen on Area Highways

by  Dee Jepsen, State Safety Leader,  posted by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

Ohio farmers are currently in the process of preparing their equipment for planting, looking for dry fields, and waiting for soil temperatures to warm. What better time than now to take a few extra minutes to check equipment lighting and marking to help ensure a safe spring?

Just to review what is required and recommended for agricultural equipment while traveling on public roads:

  • At all times, an Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem is required
  • Headlights and taillights are required 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset
  • Headlights and taillights are required during day hours if inclement weather conditions exist, including fog and rain
  • Additional extremity lighting is required on dual-wheeled tractors Amber flashers and turn signals are recommended at all times
  • Ideally towed implements should have their own reflectors, lights, and an SMV emblem. However law requires these items be present when the implement blocks the lighting/marking configuration on the tractor.

In addition to lighting and marking on equipment, other items should be considered while traveling on public roads:

  • Safety cables or chains should be used in any towing situation.
  • Lock tractor brakes together before traveling on public roadways
  • Wear seat belt while operating tractors with ROPS
  • Ohio law states that only one wagon/implement may be towed behind any vehicle with two exceptions:
  1. Towing with a tractor – More than one wagon/implement may be towed. While no maximum is indicated, common sense and safety should play a role in the decision.
  2. Towing with a pickup or straight truck -A truck designed by the manufacturer to carry a load of not less than 1/2 ton and not more than 2 tons may tow two wagons/implements. Use escort vehicle when possible

Additional information on lighting and marking of agricultural equipment can be found on Ohioline, Factsheet # AEX_598_08 Boosting Visibility of Ag Equipment http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/pdf/AEX_598_08.pdf

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