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Central Indiana fire department asks for patience this harvest season

Local official warns drivers amid harvest season

BARGERSVILLE, Ind, (WISH) — Central Indiana officials are warning Hoosiers of the potential dangers of driving during harvest season.

Combines, tractors, and balers have to get to the fields somehow, and sometimes that means they’re on the roads.

Bargersville Community Deputy Fire Chief Michael Pruitt warns with farmers covering more land throughout the state, they may be moving equipment through the city, especially at night.

He added that drivers should always be on the lookout for flashing lights and be prepared to slow down for farm equipment.

During this harvest season, Pruitt has one simple request for farmers and drivers — share the road.

He says farmers should be aware of potential traffic backups they are causing. Meanwhile, commuters need to understand farmers cannot pull over as quickly as cars can.

“It takes teamwork between both the drivers and the farm equipment operators to make sure we get through the season safely,” Pruitt said.

He asks both sides to have patience.

“There’s just not a lot of room on the roadways,” Pruitt said. “Farmers need to get through to get their harvest complete. It’s very important. It’s how we put food on the table. Making sure they get that job done for us is very important.”

On days when weather reduces visibility, Pruitt recommends farmers use escort vehicles to transport larger farm equipment.

The Indiana State Police also offer reminders for this season on their website.

For Farmers:

  • Vehicles traveling less than 25 miles per hour must display a slow-moving vehicle sign.
  • Pull over when three or more vehicles are behind them and can’t pass them on the left.

For commuters:

  • Watch for equipment pulling off to the side of the road to make wide turns.
  • Look out for objects like mailboxes or street signs that might cause farm equipment to move to the middle of a road.

According to Pruitt, the Bargersville Community Fire Department sees at least one crash involving farm equipment every harvest season.