Harvest image

Harvest image

​Large Farm Equipment Will Share the Road with Motorists on Rural Routes 

(October 11, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Farm Bureau, is reminding motorists to share the road with large farm equipment as the fall harvest is underway in the state. 

“During harvest season, as daylight hours get shorter, we all need to be especially attentive and patient in our farm communities,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Our farmers work hard and play a vital role in Maryland’s economy. Let’s all share the road and do our part to keep them, and ourselves, safe on our roadways.”

With more than 12,000 working farms in Maryland, farmers use combines and other large, slow-moving equipment during the harvest period, September through November. Since 2020, there have been more than 160 crashes involving farm equipment on Maryland roads.

“Fall harvest is a busy time for Maryland farmers, which often includes moving farm equipment from one location to another,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “Please be mindful of this as you travel Maryland roads, especially those in rural areas.”  

“Harvest time is important to us all. Please do your part to put Maryland grown food on our tables by being patient and passing farm equipment only when safe to do so,” said State Highway Administrator William Pines. “Large farm equipment can take up both lanes, in some cases, on two-lane roads and is often slow moving and limits sight distance for highway users.”

When you encounter farm equipment, the farmer understands your trip is being delayed. He or she may pull off the road at the first available safe location to allow drivers to pass. Do not assume the farmer can immediately move aside. Road shoulders may be soft, wet or steep, and this can cause a farm vehicle to tip over, or the shoulder may be unable to support a heavy farm vehicle.

In addition to leaving more time for your travels, the following tips will help ensure the safety of motorists, passengers and operators of slow-moving farm equipment:

  • Pass farm equipment with extreme caution and do not pass while navigating turns, on hills or where sight distance is limited.
  • Be mindful of vehicles behind you that may also try to pass.
  • Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel.
  • Do not assume a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is letting you pass. Due to the size of some farm implements, the farmer must execute wide left- turns. If you are unsure, check the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways, or any place a farm vehicle may be turning.

“Maryland farmers take the necessary safety precautions to safeguard both themselves and fellow Maryland drivers while navigating our roads,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford. “But we need your help, too. Please stand with our hardworking farmers during harvest season by remaining vigilant and paying attention to the slow-moving vehicles and farm equipment that share our roadways.”

For more information about agriculture in Maryland, visit,, or ​