As farmers prepare to transport millions of tonnes of crops and grain on Victorian roads over the coming months, Regional Roads Victoria is urging drivers to be vigilant and aware of the potential dangers of encountering trucks and heavy machinery.
By virtue of a strong winter crop season, RRV Regional Director (Hume) Steve Bowmaker said an influx of trucks, tractors, and heavy agricultural machinery are expected on our roads between now and May 2022.
“Farmers and crops are a vital part of regional Victoria’s economy, playing a key role in the state’s recovery from coronavirus,” Bowmaker said.
“They’re preparing for another bumper harvest season, which means we can expect to see more trucks, tractors and machinery on our roads.”
Heavy agriculture machinery moves more slowly than other heavy vehicles, often populating large sections of regional Victorian roads and crossing road-dividing lines.
“Drivers should slow down when they see machinery, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle and not attempt to pass until they have a clear view ahead and are absolutely certain it is safe to do so,” Bowmaker explained.
“Wider or slower vehicles may also have a pilot vehicle travelling ahead – it’s important that drivers obey directions and pay attention to any signage.”
Drivers and operators of heavy machinery were also reminded of their responsibility to ensure they are always fit to be behind the wheel.
“We know driver fatigue is one of the biggest dangers on our roads,” Bowmaker said.
“Farmers often work longer hours during harvest and need to be aware of how they’re feeling and ensure they are alert. If operators of heavy machinery feel fatigued or distracted, they should stop as soon as is safely possible and rest for at least 15-20 minutes or find another licenced driver to take their place,” he said.
“It is every motorist’s responsibility to keep our roads safe and ensure all Victorians get home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day.”