Harvest season puts farming equipment back on DeKalb roads

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A farmer harvests his field on Lincoln Highway Wednesday night. Farming equipment, such as combines, will begin to use DeKalb area roadways, presenting a potential safety hazard to motorists.

Amanda Shaffer

As harvest season starts again in DeKalb, roads may become crowded with some unfamiliar vehicles.

Farming equipment and other vehicles used while harvesting crops will start using roadways.

According to DeKalb Police, one to four accidents happen about every year involving farm equipment on roads.

According to the DeKalb Farm Bureau’s website, drivers should pass farming equipment only when conditions are safe and not while on bridges.

“It was incredibly frustrating to be behind a tractor,” said Maggie Fern, senior elementary education major. “I passed it as soon as I could, and when I can’t pass the equipment, I usually just tailgate it until I can.”

DeKalb residents driving on rural roads might see many different types of farming equipment.

“Students are going to see tractors, combines, semis and grain wagons,” said Mariam Wassmann, director of information of DeKalb County Farm Bureau. “All are necessary for the harvest to take place, so be especially alert during the harvest season.”

Cara Crull, senior physical therapy major, has experience driving farming equipment.

“Cars come up behind you, and you’re obviously going slower than them,” Crull said. “If I have nowhere to get over, then I’ll try to wave you on. When you’re driving huge equipment, you can’t just pull off the road.”

Wassmann said harvest season usually takes place from the first week of October to mid-November.

“Farming vehicles may turn into a field at anytime instead of intersections,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott. “Also be aware of the size of equipment behind the tractors and adjust your speed.”