As the spring planting season begins, agriculture officials in Michigan and elsewhere are urging farmers to take precautions to avoid accidents.
The Michigan Farm Bureau said farmers should be certain that all their slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems and red reflectors are clearly visible and not faded. Replace old emblems with Reflexite materials.
Farmers should check to be sure they have proper safety chains in place when towing equipment, behind either a tractor or a truck, said Craig Anderson of the bureau's labor and safety services program.
Anderson said farmers should remember to lock tractor brake pedals together when driving on the road and check brakes to ensure they are in working order.
Anderson also recommended installing rear-view mirrors and fire extinguishers as additional equipment on all tractors.
"If your tractor is equipped with Roll-Over Protection Structures (ROPS) equipment and seat belts, be sure to wear those seat belts," Anderson said. "There are no known fatalities when a ROPS is properly installed and seat belts are worn."
Anderson reminded farmers to have shields and guards in place when in the field, including on auguers, power take-offs and electrical and manure transport systems.