The largest national trucking association today released an educational guide to help truck drivers stay safe on the roads during the peak planting and harvest season.
With heavy farm equipment on the roads and truckers carrying agricultural products long distances, the risks are high for accidents. During planting and harvest seasons, exemptions to trucking rules limiting consecutive hours on the road are granted to carriers hauling agricultural products in certain parts of the country.
The American Trucking Association's Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) released a safety guide on its website called the Manager's Guide to Safe Trucking During Agricultural Planting and Harvest Season.
"Promoting safety is important in all agricultural operations but especially critical in the case of truck driving," said Russell Laird, AFTC's executive director. "Our members are glad to share their expertise and best practices with the whole agricultural industry to give them practical strategies they can implement to help improve safety."
The guide focuses on active strategies for hiring decisions, communicating with drivers and monitoring and managing fatigue.
Imposing hours of service restrictions during planting and harvest seasons could force the use of more temporary and possibly less-experienced drivers, AFTC said.
The trucking group said its safety measures outlined in the guide can help the agricultural industry maintain flexibility while achieving safety.