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Safety tips for traveling on the road

trucks almost collide on rural road
STAY ALERT! Traveling to the field can be one of the most important times to stay off your cellphone and remain alert, Fred Whitford says.
Check out this infographic, and stay safe out there on the highways this fall.

Anyone who has driven a large high-clearance sprayer, combine or tractor pulling a wide implement probably has at least one close call they could talk about. Fred Whitford, director of Purdue University Pesticide Programs, is out to alert as many big-rig drivers as possible to the dangers that exist on roadways when sharing the road with distracted, uninformed drivers. His goal is to prevent you from having more close calls in the future.

Whitford prepared the “Safety Tips for Sprayers on the Road” infographic below to alert you to possible danger spots while operating a large vehicle on the road. This “road map” was designed for Extension publication PPP-117, “Keep the Spray Rig on the Road and Out of Trouble,” but the alerts along the way also apply to moving a combine or tractor and large implement down the road in almost every case.

Fred Whitford, Purdue University Extension, PPP 11

The road map infographic is also available as an 11-by-17-inch poster, perfect for posting on the office bulletin board or shop wall where family members and employees would see it every day. It’s available at

“Being alert at railroad crossings is one we’re emphasizing,” Whitford notes. “We’re still hearing about accidents where the driver of a sprayer or other big rig tangles with a train. The train wins every time.”

Lack of signals and lights and varying grades at rural railroad crossings can add to the risk of crossing tracks safely, he says. In some parts of Indiana, crews have been at work updating tracks and posting notices that trains will soon run more frequently and at higher speeds.

“You simply need to stay alert as you approach a crossing, and do everything you can to make sure it’s safe to cross,” Whitford says. “Think about your family and friends by not becoming a statistic.”  

TAGS: Equipment
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