by Sergeant Jesse Grabow

Question: I have a question for you with harvest season going on. Is it legal for a vehicle with a slow moving sign to drive over 30 mph?

Answer: A towed implement of husbandry that is empty and not self-propelled may be towed at lawful speeds greater than 30 miles per hour without removing the slow-moving vehicle emblem. The emblem must have a fluorescent or illuminated red-orange triangle with a dark red reflective border. It must be mounted so it’s visible from a distance of not less than 600 feet to the rear.

Fall harvest season is underway in Minnesota, and motorists are likely to see large farm equipment on the road as crops are transported to markets, grain elevators and processing plants.

Motorists need to be especially alert. Large, heavy farm equipment takes more time and space than other vehicles to accelerate, slow down and stop. These vehicles also have large blind spots for operators and cause them to make wide turns and sometimes cross over the center line. All these factors can result in serious crashes.

Motorists are urged to:

•Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment. Don’t assume the operator can see you.

•Watch for debris dropped by trucks. It’s safer to brake or drive through debris than to veer into oncoming cars or off the road.

•Wait for a safe place to pass.

Farm equipment operators should:

•Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.

•Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.

•Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.

•Properly secure your load.

•Ensure all lights are clean and fully visible.

•Ensure all safety equipment, including brakes and tires, are well maintained.

Motorists and equipment operators also should understand there may be mud and debris on the road and drive accordingly.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send questions to Sgt. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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