It’s harvest time across the USA, and farm implements are sharing the roads with passenger cars and trucks. As an EMDA member, we thought now was a good time for you to remind your customers who use slow moving ag implements to check the Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems on their equipment.
Keeping up with Standards – Standards are always changing and it’s good to be reminded of them, even the ones that have been around for years. Less than 10 years ago, the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) revised the SMV standard S276.5 to increase the required reflectivity and the lifespan of the materials used to make the signs, as compared to the older standard.
The lighting and marking requirements for agricultural equipment on highways are different from state to state, but state legislation often references the ASABE standard.
Personal Protection – Replacing older signs with newer ones is literally a night and day difference, as the newer red reflective material appears 10 times brighter at night than the older material. Both the new red and orange materials will also last up to twice as long before fading below the reflectivity levels set by the standard. As the title of this article states, a few extra seconds of warning may prevent a serious accident.
All SMV emblems made before S276.5 should be replaced in order to safeguard not only the public, but also the farmer moving their equipment from one field to another.
Location, Location, Location – As a reminder, an SMV emblem must never be displayed on a stationary object, or used as an extremity marker. If the emblem is obstructed by a towed implement, which may be the case with a tractor, then another emblem must be mounted on the rear of the towed implement.
Also, rear-facing work lights or service lights should be aimed downward and must not be illuminated during highway travel at night, because drivers can be blinded and/or confused by these white lights.
Presented by Steve Nichol, Technical Publication Associates. Please visit our booth (137) at the upcoming San Diego fall convention or our website (www.tpaone.com).