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Better safety signs needed?

Every fall (and sometimes in the spring) my friend Orion Samuelson, yes that Orion, the farm broadcaster, does a nice job of reminding farmers about the value of that SMV sign on the back of machinery as the busy planting or harvest season fires up.

He admonishes farmers that don't have clean, top condition signs on the back of equipment. And I'm wondering if he's going far enough, after looking at equipment in Europe for the last few days. You see over hear one SMV sign isn't enough - signage is intense and you have to have to red-and-white striped signs on your machine, along with other lighting so you are visible.

A dual-signage approach in Europe alerts oncoming traffic that slowing down would be a good idea.

Of course, the European farmer is on the road a lot more - and "slow moving" may be a misnomer with machinery that'll go nearly 40 miles per hour (and sometimes faster) - but safety still matters, and sometimes tractors aren't keeping up with the flow of traffic. Top level signage is needed because cars move faster here.

When Orion talks about SMV signs he notes the farmers that put them on mailboxes, or don't keep them clean. Well I'm here to tell you that even in Small Town America the the number of people who don't care about slow moving machines is growing. I once heard my Eastern Iowa sister-in-law say that locals in town were complaining about all that "farm traffic."

That's crazy it's a FARM TOWN. But it's happening and you need to be proactive. I'm not advocating two SMV signs on every piece of equipment but yours should be clean at all times and perhaps when upgrading your lighting you could consider some lighting that would be directed right on that sign. Just a thought (if it's legal where you live).

Safety is paramount, but sometimes you have to take that into your own hands and warn the car speeding up on you that you are in a lumbering combine, or heavy duty tractor. It sure couldn’t hurt.

And perhaps that Euro signage standard for machinery - with two signs and added lighting - might not be a bad idea.