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Harvest road safety

red combine harvesting wheat

Wheat harvest is rolling in many areas of Ontario, and there are a few things you should remember when you’re driving in the country this time of year.

  1. Tractors and combines can be huge (long as well as wide). When you see them coming down the road towards you, please slow down and move over so that they can pass safely.
  2. If pulling up behind farm equipment on the road, use caution before passing them as they might be making a turn into a field or lane and might not be able to signal that move, so pay close attention if they are moving over or significantly slowing down.
  3. If you do get stuck behind farm equipment on the road, make sure it is absolutely safe before pulling out to pass.
  4. Also, something to note, if you are coming up behind a tractor while going 80km per hour, the tractor is only going 25km per hour. With 100 meters in between the your car and the tractor, you only have 6.5 seconds to react and slow down–that is not a lot of time! Be aware in the spring, summer and fall that there is a great possibility of farm equipment moving on the roads at slower speeds than a typical car.

Sometimes combines and tractors with grain carts need to unload into highway trucks on the road, due to the field not being accessible to the truck. Please be extra cautious if you pull up while this is happening as the tractor or combine unloading may have to move forward and backward quickly and might not be able to see behind them. Give them lots of space! They will only be blocking the road for a few minutes, and then you can be safely on your way.

For more information about road safety during harvest, check out the Road Safety booklet at