Staying safe while sharing the road with tractors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Staying safe while sharing the road with tractors

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With planting season in full swing, more and more tractors are going to be sharing the roads and most of them are significantly bigger than the one involved in the Buchanan County crash that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher.

"The equipment we have just gets bigger and bigger and bigger," said farmer Rick DeGroote of DeGroote Farms in Shell Rock.

 The tractors get bigger, the roads, on the other hand, stay the same. 

 "Everybody is in a hurry. It's a fast paced society and we are just trying to get stuff done," said DeGroote; making it more and more important to be patient.

"They want to get where they need to be going and we need to get done what we are doing," said DeGroote.

The dangers increasing with attachments that can create major blind spots for farmers.

"You are looking ahead and back as much as you can. If somebody is right behind the planter you can not see them," said DeGroote.

As a fourth generation Iowa farmer DeGroote says safety is a shared responsibility between drivers and farmers. 

"We might be turning left. We might have to wait. We might have to take a wide turn; give us a little bit of time. There is a reason we are slowing down or stopping," said DeGroote.

But it is also important for farmers to make sure their equipment is working properly.

"On the farmers' side, we need to make sure that we have working lights, slow moving signs; the best of our ability," said DeGroote.

"We do run into situations though like at dusk or something when it is very hard to see and that is a factor for the tractor driver and the vehicle driver," said DeGroote.

  KWWL: "Steps up that danger level?"

  "Absolutely," answered DeGroote.

 Farmers say the best thing we can all do is slow down, be patient, pay attention, and avoid all of the distractions like cell phones.

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