Motorists are encouraged to share the roads with farmers

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CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — Harvest season has begun for West Tennesseans and more farmers and their equipment will be out on the roads. “People aren’t aware of how slow this machinery is running,” said farmer Mark Spredlin. Farmers’ machinery can only move up to 20 miles an hours. “They’re approaching a lot faster than they realize and our machinery is so wide that it’s sometimes hard to get it off the road,” Spredlin said. He said he avoids the most busiest times on the roads when he moves equipment.”We try not to move early in the morning when people are going to work or when the school buses are running,” Spredlin said. “It’s a lot more dangerous because there is more traffic on the road.” He takes extra precautions as he moves his machinery to and from the fields. “We try to always have an escort that’s out in front of our machinery that’s got his lights flashing. We try to flag the traffic down, we just really try to slow the traffic down. That helps so much,” Spredlin said. Farmers said slowing down is key to staying safe when approaching their large equipment especially on the narrow roads. “We got to be patient and very understanding and realize they have a job to do,” said Tom Mapes with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. “We as motorists, we have to be patient and observe all the rules and regs.” According to Mapes, farmers and their equipment have the same rights on the roadways as motorists. “If it’s a passing situation, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough distance to make it,” he said. “We don’t need to take any chances because especially on the two lane roads are where your most concern come from.” Spredlin said it all comes down to being aware and patient during harvest season. Farmers will be on and off the roadways for harvest season which lasts through November.

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