The dry, hot summer has led to the kick-off of the harvest season in Lacombe County, which is significantly earlier than usual. Harvest work is in full swing, and Lacombe County reminds travellers to keep safety at the forefront during fall harvest operations, whether you’re driving a van, pulling a camping trailer, or behind the wheel of a combine or semi-truck.
Road safety is a big concern during harvest season. Slow-moving farm equipment will be on roads already busy with summer travellers and commuters alike, increasing the need for everyone to drive safely and considerately. Since starting this campaign in 2014, we have heard stories from producers and drivers alike of unsafe driving during harvest season.
“Lacombe County is an agricultural community. The summer produced too much heat and not enough rain, and our producers need to complete their annual harvest quickly in order to save as much yield as possible,” said Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law.
“With that in mind, road courtesy is important no matter where you are driving, and we ask everyone to practice patience on local roads – whether you’re driving in Lacombe County or venturing elsewhere in the province.”
The fact is large, slow-moving equipment utilizes County roads in harvest season – which lasts for a number of weeks each year (depending on the year and weather conditions). Drivers need to plan and incorporate extra time into their schedules to compensate for potential delays caused by harvest operations.
“We are a rural county, and during harvest season, we ask both agricultural producers, travellers and day-to-day drivers using County roads to stay alert, stay patient and stay safe,” stated Reeve Law.
Harvest safety tips from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
• Ensure safe transport of equipment on public roadways.
• Be aware of motorists.
• Follow all rules of the road.
• Ensure all lights and reflectors are in place and in good working order. A slow-moving vehicle emblem should be in place and visible from the rear.
• Return equipment to transport mode to make it as narrow as possible.
• Check your route before transport to ensure equipment fits safely under power lines and over bridges or culverts that need to be crossed.
– Submitted by Lacombe County