Harvest 2019 has begun for a few farmers while others are anxiously waiting to parade their machinery to the field
Your first priority might be to make sure you get your combine, tractor, and wagons are ready to go. According to Craig Anderson, manager of agricultural labor and safety services with Michigan Farm Bureau, it’s imperative farmers make sure their semi-trucks are up for the job.
“The first step is a mechanical inspection,” said Anderson. “Many trucks sit for quite a period of time throughout the summer. Check the brakes, the lights, the fluids, [and] make sure you don’t have any leaks.”
It’s not just trucks that need inspected. With the late spring pushing harvest back, farmers might be tempted to cut corners to get the crop out of the ground quicker.
“We need to make sure the chains and straps we’re using are in good shape and are properly rated for the loads,” said Anderson. “Also understand that when we put equipment onto trailers, we need to make sure they are properly secured.”
With harvest equipment on the road, everyone needs to drive safe, slow, and share the road. When the opportunity arises, Anderson encourages farmers to pull over and let traffic behind you pass. For those on the road, he reminds them that in many cases they don’t have the opportunity to pull over.
“Please recognize it may seem like a long time, but it isn’t,” he said. “If you follow a tractor, the typical wait time is about the time of waiting for two traffic lights. It’s relatively small in the scheme of things.
For more information on ag transportation, visit Michigan Farm Bureau for the Farmers Transportation Guidebook.