29 September 2017 - SMV, What does it Mean?

S.M.V. If you are a farmer, you had better know what it means. If you are not a farmer, it is important that you understand what it means - Slow Moving Vehicle emblem, in the shape of a triangle with a deep red border and a fluorescent orange center. In most states across the country it can only be legally attached to…a Slow Moving Vehicle, nothing else. That means you apply it to a grain wagon, a combine, a tractor pulling farm equipment of any kind.

The SMV emblem needs to be attached to these vehicles to let motorists coming up from behind know they are approaching a vehicle that could be traveling at a rate of 14-15 miles an hour. Its purpose, of course, is to avoid rear end collisions between an auto and farm equipment, because we still have too many of these accidents on rural roads causing injury and death every year.

The Slow Moving Vehicle emblem must ONLY be applied to a slow moving vehicle; not used as a driveway marker, not on a mail-box post or any other stationary site, only a slow moving vehicle. To do otherwise takes away the meaning of the SMV emblem and its effectiveness in preventing rear-end collisions.

One more thought about slow moving farm equipment and farmers on rural roads. Legally, you have every right to be there, but be a good friend to the drivers behind you and pull over when you have the opportunity to let them safely pass and avoid an accident, impatient drivers can be dangerous drivers.

There is something else I didn’t cover in my safety discussion during National Farm Safety and Health Week - the importance of having a workable fire extinguisher on your combine. Make sure it works and is fully loaded! With the hot, dry weather we are having across much of the Corn Belt, I am concerned that we are once again going to see many combine fires. We are already hearing about them so that fire extinguisher could be a very important tool on your combine.

So, two things to remember - have a workable fire extinguisher on your combine and have the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem applied ONLY to a slow-moving vehicle.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.