Tips for drivers encountering farm machinery during harvest

Regina, SK (Aug. 12, 2021) – This year’s harvest has begun and drivers in Saskatchewan can expect to encounter farm equipment on highways and rural roads as farmers move their equipment between fields.

Overall, collisions between motor vehicles and farm equipment are not frequent, but the ones that do occur are more likely to cause injuries

Over the past five years (2016-2020), 96 collisions involving farm equipment on Saskatchewan roads have resulted in 44 injuries and eight deaths.

Even if a collision doesn’t result in anyone getting hurt or losing their life, it could severely impact someone’s livelihood. This year will be a challenging one for many of our province’s agriculture producers. With many farmers already facing a difficult harvest, no one wants to deal with a collision damaging a crucial piece of equipment when it’s most needed. As drivers, we can help them out by giving them a bit of space and plenty of courtesy whenever we see them on the road.

Some things to keep in mind when driving around farm equipment:

  • Pass only when it’s safe to do so. Treat farm machinery like you would any slow-moving traffic and remember to be patient. Chances are that the farmer is only going to be on the road long enough to move that equipment from one field to another.
  • In addition to being slow-moving, farm machinery can be deceptively wide and long. If you do decide to pass them on the highway, give yourself plenty space to do so.
  • As we noted when we kicked off the August Traffic Safety Spotlight, you’re more likely to encounter farm equipment on rural roads – and those roads are narrower, so drivers have less space to maneuver around them – so keep that in mind and stay extra alert whenever you leave the pavement and hit the gravel.
  • Make sure the farmer can see you, too. The operator of that equipment is dealing with blind spots, so don’t follow too close behind them and be sure not to merge in front of them too closely.
  • Anticipate where the farmer might be going. The machinery may not allow the operator to signal their intentions, so drivers will want to be sure they are not about to turn left into a field before pulling alongside to pass.
  • For farmers, there are rules dictating how, where and when farm equipment can be transported on certain designated highways. Equipment that travels slower than 40 km/h, must be equipped with a rear/center slow-moving-vehicle sign, and machinery that extends more than 1.2 meters should be equipped with reflective devices to alert drivers. For more details, please consult this fact sheet from the Government of Saskatchewan.


SGI CANADA is the property and casualty insurance division of SGI, offering products in five Canadian provinces. It operates as SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. Products are sold through a network of independent insurance brokers. For more information, visit

Source: Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI)

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