Tag: safety

Keep Your Rural Roads Safe

KEEP YOUR RURAL ROADS SAFE

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*

Safely navigating large agricultural equipment over rural roads to and from the fields is a challenge for even the best drivers. Nationwide reminds farmers to consider the following rules on the safe operation of equipment to help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions.

Basics

Courts uphold agricultural equipment operator rights for road usage, and regulations for size and type usually don’t apply. But still take necessary precautions to prevent serious injury and damage and ensure that your equipment isn’t in violation. You know accidents can happen any time of day, but remember:

  • Working after dark: Turn on lights, use reflectors or conspicuity tape, display SMV (slow-moving vehicle) sign, consider escort vehicles
  • Trailer pulling: Don’t rely on power unit lights only; this increases collision risk if lights become obstructed
  • “Road rules”: Operators must understand driving hazards; regulations include specific training for equipment operation and environment navigation

 

Left Turns

Operators tend to pull to the right when making wide left turns. Motorists may view this as permission to pass. To prevent accidents:

  • Use turn signals or hand/arm signals
  • Check oncoming traffic
  • Check mirrors and blind spots
 

Bridges

Before crossing rural bridges:

  • Ensure appropriate vehicle weight
  • Allow oncoming traffic to clear the bridge (reduces weight on bridge and provides you space to maneuver)
  • If tires have large lugs for traction, be cautious of guardrail contact that could inadvertently cause equipment to climb the rail or tip off the bridge
 
Passing cars
 

When driving a slow-moving vehicle, never wave a driver to pass. It’s the passing driver’s responsibility to pass – not yours. Also:

  • Don’t drive on the shoulder; you may sideswipe a passing vehicle if you have to swerve to avoid an oncoming mailbox or obstruction
  • Drive with the left side of your vehicle to the centerline, even if your equipment extends onto the shoulder; passing drivers should consider safety and the law before passing

 

Rear-end collisions

Rural road travelers can easily be surprised by a large, slow-moving vehicle — and misjudge their speed and gap distance. To avoid rear-end collisions:

  • Monitor mirrors for fast-approaching vehicles
  • Ensure that the vehicle’s warning devices, such as SMV signs, are visible
  • Consider vehicle escorts on heavily traveled paved roads

 

For more farm safety tips, contact your local Nationwide farm agent or visit mynsightonline.com.  

 
*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2019. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide.

Farm safety and volunteer firefighting with Dan Neenan

Farm safety and volunteer firefighting with Dan Neenan

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

Dan Neenan became a volunteer firefighter in 1991 and quickly saw something that would become a huge part of his career. First responders in small towns like his often didn’t have the training and equipment they needed to save lives on the farm.

So he set out to change that. Now more than 30 years later, Neenan is a paramedic specialist and firefighter II with the Epworth and Centralia/Peosta, Iowa, fire departments. He’s also the director of the National Educational Center for Ag Safety (NECAS). And through a close partnership with Nationwide, he’s been able to deliver what he saw lacking when he first started fighting fires and saving lives.

“There are very few responders available for a fire, medical or agricultural emergency that can happen in and around our rural communities,” said Neenan, who joined the NECAS staff in 2000. “We started by developing safety and rescue programs that are agriculturally based.”

Hands-on training for firefighters and farmers

A huge part of Neenan’s work at NECAS is providing training for rural firefighters and farmers. Much of his instruction is hands-on and involves simulating some of the most hazardous working conditions and settings on and around farms like:

  • Tractor rollovers
  • Combine augers
  • Grain bins
  • Confined manure storage

“We develop hands-on training programs. Farmers and firefighters are alike in that they don’t want to sit and listen to somebody talk for 8 hours,” Neenan said. “They want to go out and get their hands dirty. And do something. 

What Neenan’s work means to farm communities

In the almost 20 years since beginning these programs and simulators, Neenan said it’s not always easy to gauge his success. But with around 10,000 first responders having completed training, it’s clear he’s leading a team that’s making a big difference. And saving lives.

“From the safety side, it’s really hard to count an incident that didn’t happen,” he said. “From the rescue side, it’s a different story. Thirty-two departments have completed our grain bin safety training and have gone on to rescue someone in a bin.”

Neenan has led lifesaving efforts. But he’s quick to point out he’s no hero. To him, he’s just one member of a larger team — including Nationwide — who has made a lifesaving difference in farm towns around the country.

Success takes a team effort

The team aspect of the NECAS work Neenan leads is the biggest reason for its success. It’s not unlike what makes rural firefighters so good at what they do.

“If you look at the partnership we have with Nationwide and all the partners who have come together to donate or help make something like Grain Bin Safety Week happen, do I play a part in it? Yes. Am I the only reason? I don’t think so,” Neenan said. “It takes a team to do that. Just like a fire department.”

Visit AgInsightCenter.com for expert tips and information from Nationwide for your farm or ranch.

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2021.
Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2022 Nationwide

Translate »