Late October is a very busy time for Northwest Agriculture. Apple harvest is under way, grape harvest is kicking into a higher gear, and then there’s field maintenance and work. And with all of that activity taking place in farm country, motorists are asked to watch for farm equipment sharing the roadway from time to time.
Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said farm equipment is permitted on the highway. And as long that tractor or implement is less than 65,000 pounds, shorter than 16 feet tall and less than 20 feet wide it can be on the roadway without a permit.
“A lot of the farm equipment you see on the road are smaller than that so they don’t need a permit. But they do need the lights on the vehicle itself. For those farm elements going 25 miles per hour or less, they’re required to have the triangle to let traffic know that it’s a slow moving vehicle.”
Farmers that need a permit to move their bigger equipment will need to work with the state for the proper paperwork. Bryant said it’s not atypical this time of year for motorists can find themselves behind slow moving Ag equipment. He said if you come across slower moving vehicles, give them space and slowdown.
“Especially up in the Wenatchee area when folks are using State Route 2 and going back and forth to work, they just got to be aware that the farm implement can only move so fast and their mobility, their ability evade something, is going to be slower. So those coming up on it, if you’re at the speed limit, slow down a little bit, check your mirrors.”
The rule of thumb, slow down, watch out for fellow drivers, regardless of what they drive, and work to get everyone to their destination safely.
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