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MnDOT asks users of Minnesota roadways to use caution and safely share the road during the current planting season.

(May 8, 2023)  Pope County joins the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in encouraging farm and non-farm traffic to be aware of varied uses of area roadways during the spring planting season.  MnDOT shares the following update in the interest of public safety:

Motorists traveling on Minnesota roads this spring should watch for large farm equipment moving from farm to farm for planting season, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 

Since 2020, there were 391 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota, resulting in six deaths and 143 injuries. Inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes.

“Farmers need our highways to access fields statewide, so motorists should prepare to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles; especially on rural, two-lane roads,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. 

Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. The equipment also makes wide turns and sometimes crosses over the center line. In addition, farm vehicles can create large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. 

Motorists should:

  • Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment
  • Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment  
  • Drive with headlights on at all times
  • Wait for a safe place to pass

Farm equipment operators should:

  • Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible
  • Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph 
  • Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night