With silage season well under way in most parts of the country, there is an increase in the volume of agricultural vehicles on the roads.

Gardaí are reminding road users travelling behind a tractor or other slow-moving vehicles to be patient and don’t be tempted to overtake in a dangerous manner.

Drivers should always be on the lookout for farm machinery exiting fields and farm yards.

Farmers

Farmers need to be safety conscious too, gardaí have advised. If there is a buildup of traffic behind, keep left when safe to do so in order to allow others to pass safely.

Mobile phones should not be used while driving farm machinery on public roads.

Gardaí also reminded drivers of agricultural vehicles of the following:

  • Wash down all wheels regularly to avoid carrying mud and stones on to the public road.
  • Be particularly careful when transporting material such as silage, slurry, sand and gravel, so that it does not spill on the road and pose a risk to other road users.
  • Do not overload trailers in a manner that would cause them to be unstable on the road.
  • Look out for low bridges, overhanging trees, overhead cables and uneven road surfaces which could cause the load to shift and possibly overturn.
  • The driving mirror must always provide an adequate view of the road and all agricultural vehicles must have proper working brakes on both tractor and trailer units. All agricultural vehicles must be fitted with lights, reflectors and indicators.
  • Large farming vehicles should consider using an escort vehicle to warn other road users and ensure that tractors are driven at an appropriate speed for the road conditions.
  • Never let an inexperienced driver use machinery.
  • Ensure that equipment and machinery has been serviced properly and is in good working order.
  • Be careful when using equipment which you may not have used for some time.
  • Do not risk it - if you do not know how to use the equipment, get someone to advise you or find out how to use it safely.
  • Particular care is needed while using chainsaws
  • Children should always be supervised on farms.
  • Visitors (including family relatives) may not be familiar with a farm environment and should be accompanied when out on the farm.