MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota transportation officials are advising motorists to be prepared to share the road with farming equipment as harvest season ramps up.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says motorists should be aware of large farm equipment taking crops to markets, grain elevators and processing plants.

“Harvest season is ramping up across Minnesota and farmers need the highways to access their fields and deliver crops to market,” Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer, said. “Motorists need to be prepared to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, especially on rural, two-lane roadways, now through November.

MnDOT says farming equipment is large and heavy, which makes it difficult to maneuver, and the vehicles can have large blind spots, so motorists must use caution around them.

From 2016 to 2018, there were seven fatalities and 385 crashes that involved at least one farm vehicle in Minnesota. Of the seven fatalities, one was a farm vehicle rider.

Motorists are advised to slow down and use caution around the farm vehicle, watch for debris dropped by the vehicle, and wait for a safe place to pace.

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