We all know the old adage – patience is a virtue.
And for local drivers who find themselves sharing the road with farmers, it could be the virtue that keeps you and your vehicles from harm.
Planting season is an exciting time for farmers in the Valley.
But it’s also a time when they share the roads with other drivers while navigating equipment between fields, which can be dangerous when those drivers don’t accommodate them.
“We’re on the defense on this,” said Vigo County Farm Bureau President Marty Evans. “But they come up on us pretty fast, and sometimes they don’t realize the situation that we’re all getting into.”
Brad Burbrink says drivers should be prepared for a slower and more vigilant commute if they know they’re driving through farming territory.
“When you fasten your seatbelt, be thinking ‘hey, I need to keep extra caution because there’s gonna be slow moving vehicles on the highways and on the county roads’,” said Burbrink.
Burbrink says rural roads offer challenges based on elevation of terrain as well as mere space.
“A lot of the issues are there’s not a lot of room or shoulders on the side of the roads and our equipment is tall and it’s long and it’s heavy,” said Burbrink.
Burbink adds that left turns are a huge problem, as drivers think farmers are slowing down to let them pass, when they’re actually just slowing to make those tricky, wide turns.
In the end, it’s all about everyone making it to their destinations safely, even if it means a few more minutes in the car.
“Just a little bit of patience on the roads goes a long way in helping us get to our job and helps get you to your job too,” said Evans.
Evans says that farmers have added more and more lights to their equipment over the years, which gives other drivers more time to acclimate to the farmer’s slower speed.
Planting season should be completed by the end of May, according to Evans, and then there will be less farm equipment on the roads.