Farmers Urged to Clearly Mark Projections on Vehicles and Machinery

Following an incident in England last month, NFU Scotland is reminding farmers and crofters to properly mark any projections on agricultural vehicles and machinery which might be used on the road.

Last month a fatal accident occurred when a car collided with the overhanging boom of an agricultural crop sprayer which was turning right. Although it was found that there was no evidence to suggest the crop sprayer was non-compliant, two matters of concern were considered: driver training regarding driver awareness of tail-swing of longer vehicles and signage regarding the full extent of the boom of the crop-sprayer.

The Union is asking farmers and crofters to be aware of the requirements relating to movement of front and rear end projections. This could include equipment such as ploughs, seed drills, weights, front end loaders and certain trailer loads.

As well as ensuring their vehicles are correctly marked, farmers should remember to consider other road users. It may appear safe to make a manoeuvre, but it is important to also anticipate how other road-users will behave in response.

The DVSA have agreed to review their advice within their official learning materials and consider the creation of a specific hazard perception clip covering tail-swing for the driver theory test covering all vehicle types. This will help to better educate and prepare other road users in the future as well.

Tom French, NFU Scotland Legal and Technical Chair, said: “This incident is a stark reminder for all road users to be aware of those around us. It takes caution and awareness from both the public and from farmers to prevent accidents on roads, especially at busy times like harvest.

“Ensuring we mark our vehicles correctly, and the possibility of more training from the DVSA for new drivers regarding projections on vehicles, are positive steps we can take forward. However, even the most experienced driver can be caught out. It’s not just new drivers who can benefit from training on this; ensuring that all drivers are confident and knowledgeable about projections and how loads and implements can create stability or transfer problems is important.

“There is a Business Guide Update available to members outlining their responsibilities in marking projections and the transport helpline is also available for any specific enquiries.”

Notes to Editor


Contact Douglas Ross on 07823 556253

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 93/20

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