Safety first call on road for farmers at harvest time

With both harvest and farm safety week on the horizon, growers have been urged to keep up to speed with the rules, regulations and checks needed when using agricultural vehicles to travel and transport on the road.

Issuing a timely reminder on NFU Scotland’s website, the union’s Transport Advisor Jamie Smart warned that even during the busy period for farmers it was important not to cut corners or take unnecessary risks during harvest.

He pointed to some of the key issues and areas, which he said even the seasoned farmer should remind themselves of over the coming months.

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“When operating machinery, make sure to carry out a daily check to ensure that all equipment is safe and functioning correctly. This includes completing daily checks on all lights (including warning beacons) and mirrors to ensure all are working and clean.”

He said that growers should also consider the use of cameras to increase visibility of blind spots or hard-to-see areas round a machine.

“Check that your windows are clean, your wipers are in good condition and your washer bottle is topped up.

"Make sure that all brakes are working properly - including the handbrake on trailers - hoses and couplings must also be in a good condition and not worn” said Smart.

He also reminded growers that their slow-moving vehicles could cause queues of traffic to build up, leading to frustration in other drivers.

And he advised that farmers pulled over, where safe and appropriate to do so, to allow faster vehicles to pass.

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