Most farms rely on trucks for farm work and for transporting goods. However, trucking accidents on farms are a common cause of brain injuries, fatalities, and other serious personal injuries. Trucks can easily rollover or collide with other farm machinery. The uneven ground on most farm lands can make collisions especially dangerous. There are several things you can do to help prevent farm truck accidents:
1) Use extra caution on hills. If you are driving a truck on a hilly far, travel up and down hills or along the top of hills rather than traversing the hilly area. Be especially cautious if your truck is heavily loaded – objects may shift on a hill, causing the truck to become front or back heavy.
2) Inspect your truck regularly. If you are driving your truck on muddy back roads, unpaved roads, and over fields, your truck may need more frequent maintenance to keep things safe. Do not scrimp on inspections and maintenance.
3) Be careful of blind spots. You may worry less about blind spots because there is less traffic in rural areas, but you can still be in a terrible collision if you run into another person, a piece of farm equipment, or a building. Be especially careful if you are driving in an area where animals or people are near or on the road.
4) Have backup alarms installed on your truck or indicate you are backing up by tooting your horn. This is especially important if you are not the road. People and animals may be milling near the truck and may not be aware that you intend to back up.
5) Understand what you are carrying. If you have livestock in your truck, the animals may move, especially during turns. They may crowd into one side of the truck, creating an imbalance of weight. Try to compensate for this. If your truck is filled with liquids, they may slosh around. If your truck is tall, be sure to consider overhead power lines and trees as you drive.
6) Load your truck safely. Use a good loading ramp to load your truck and make sure that you use wheel chocks before your start loading the vehicle. This will prevent the truck from moving. When loading the truck, keep in mind the total weight the truck can bear. Overloading a truck can cause the vehicle to lose control and can put additional stress on brakes and other truck systems.