Moving equipment 14ft wide even when folded up on roads with two 9ft lanes with a fair amount of traffic and sometimes no shoulder has given me an entirely new perspective when driving around others moving farm equipment. You don’t need to worry about the farm equipment-they are not going to go fast or make any sudden moves-but something about the presence of equipment on the road makes almost everyone in the vicinity in cars behave like maniacs.
Just a couple examples:
1) I was sitting waiting to turn left with my left turn signal on, needed to wait about 20 seconds due to oncoming traffic -and was passed on the left by some crazy at about 50mph. Had I not seen him coming and had decided to turn rather than wait-which would have been doable-he would have been a goner.
2) Some people will pass if there is one extra inch of room and they can clear oncoming traffic by 50 feet. Others will not pass unless you pull completely off the road-even though there is plenty of space and time and I am waving them around.
3) There is a stretch of road about 1 mile long with quite a deep shoulder, so I could not pull over. Witnessed at least 3 suicide passes-Several times I had 1 car pull behind another while the first was still passing me. Once a 3rd car actually pulled in behind #2!!! How does #3 not know that #1 or #2 aren’t cutting it close? Scared the hell out of me just watching it.
Notes for my friends with sense:
1) The law actually states you must slow down to the speed of the vehicle you are passing before overtaking it. Please do this for your own safety, and I must say getting passed unexpectedly at 75mph when you are doing 19 scares the poop out of you.
2) When you are around farm equipment-watch the other drivers as closely if not closer than the farmer. When overtaking someone on the left see if you can get a view up to the right-for some reason people pulling onto roads don’t feel they need to consider that someone may be passing that piece of slow moving equipment-thus pulling right into your path.
3) Dirty looks or any other gestures at the guy on the tractor don’t make the tractor go any faster.
4) It is not always possible for equipment to pull over, sometimes it can be too soft of shoulder and equipment may get stuck-or dropoff may damage the equipment. Also be prepared for equipment to unexpectedly move over even farther into opposite lane if there is a mailbox or some other roadside obstruction.