Fall burndown applications coincide with the harvest season in a lot of areas. That means farmers, their employees and retailer spray applicators are driving up and down rural roads and highways, working hard and working fast to get every acre treated. While a lot of farmers and applicators are experts in the field that’s not always the case as they move to and from the field, according to Fred Whitford, Purdue University coordinator of pesticide programs.
Whitford says too many people driving applicator rigs either don’t know safe driving practices or don’t practice them. Those two facts convinced him the topic needed to be addressed for the industry. The result is Whitford is introducing a new publication, “Keep the Spray Rig on the Road and Out of Trouble: Tips for Dealing with Distracted and Impatient Drivers.”
“One of the questions I hear over and over from people is how to make a safe left-hand turn,” Whitford says. “Another one is how do I approach and cross one-lane bridges?”
Other aspects of the topic that Whitford has addressed include:
- How to pull off the road safely when you look down a narrow road and realize a motorist isn’t giving up their half of the road.
- Routine practices, like cleaning sprayer windows and lights, that you need to take care of daily.
- What to do when motorists are bunching up behind you and won’t pass.
Granted, not everyone makes fall burndown applications. But if you move equipment up and down the road, the advice in this handy booklet can help keep you safe. Whitford says you can download the booklet for free at ppp.purdue.edu (look under Resources) or order a hard copy for $5.50 at the Purdue Education Store.