Jennifer Shufran, Dennis J. Murphy
Pennsylvania State University
|Some of the information contained in the following document is consistent with Pennsylvania State Department of Transportation only. State DOT regulations may vary. Check with your DOT today.|
Most agricultural producers need to move production equipment on public roads for planting, cultivating,and harvesting crops. Safely traveling roadways with agricultural equipment requires an extra degree of caution from the equipment operator and from general vehicle drivers sharing the road. For the relatively small number of miles traveled by slow moving vehicles (SMV), there are a disproportionately high number of highway accidents (Bean and Lawrence,1992). Many of these accidents are worse than a typical fender-bender.
Greater visibility plays an important role in roadway accident prevention by providing increased sight distance for decision making and stopping. In an effort to increase visibility of agricultural equipment on roadways, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) has developed new recommendations for lighting and marking equipment.
The following information identifies "rules of the road " for machinery lighting and safety marking. These rules are established by Pennsylvania law,as well as the new recommendations developed by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
What is conspicuity material and what does it do?
Conspicuity material does what it says:it makes the equipment stand out or be more conspicuous. The reason you want your equipment to stand out when on roads is to give motorists lots of time to notice you and avoid you. Fluorescent material aids daytime visibility and reflective material aids nighttime visibility, but the materials don't last forever. The orange fluorescent center portion of the SMV emblem will fade and turn color over time,changing from orange to yellow, pink or white. This portion is the most vulnerable to light and moisture degradation because fluorescent dyes decompose. Maintaining fresh emblems with maximum fluorescence makes a big difference, especially in early morning or late evening hours.
New SMV meeting old ASAE standard
New SMV meeting new ASAE standard
material as found in the outer border of the SMV emblem
is intended to reflect the headlights of vehicles approaching
from the rear at night. Retroreflective material holds up
longer than fluorescent material. Of great importance is the
fact that retroreflective readings on SMV emblems meeting
the new ASAE standard are over ten times greater than most
of the readings on SMV emblems currently in use. Most SMV
emblems tested in Successful Farming 's SMV overhaul project
had retroreflective readings in the 20s whereas the average
retroreflective readings on new enhanced SMV emblems was 278.
This showed up as nearly 14 times brighter in a nighttime
visibility test than the old emblem with a reading of 20.
The new retroreflective border material in the SMV is made
differently than the old and can be detected as far as a mile
away. Typical site distance from old SMV reflector tape was
only a few hundred feet. Which one do you want on your slow
moving agricultural equipment?
Table 1. ASAE recommendations and PA requirements for lighting and marking of agricultural equipment on highways.
|Headlights||2||White||Red retro-reflective & red-orange fluorescent Yellow retro- reflective||Same as ASAE recommendation 1|
|Taillights||2||Red||Symmetrically mounted to rear between 3. 3 ' &&10 ' high from 2 ' to 5 ' on left && right of machine center||1 mounted at each side on rear 1|
|Hazard Flashers||2 or more||Amber||3. 3 ' to 12 ' high & spaced as widely apart as practicable to be visible from front & rear||2 if double-faced with amber to front &red to rear. 4 if single faced - amber on front corners & red on rear 1|
|Turn Indicators||2||Amber & Red||Hazard flashers to also function as turn signals||Not required|
|SMV Emblem||1||Fluorescent orange for daylight & red retroreflective border for night||On rear center or rear left for maximum visibility of six hundred feet day or night; 2 ' to 10 ' above ground||All implements of husbandry designed to operate at 25 mph or less shall display the SMV on rear of vehicle at all times on highways|
|Reflectors which may be part of tail lamp lens or conspicuity material||2||Red on rear of machine||Size to be 2 " wide by 4. 5 " long for machines 6. 7 ' wide. Size to increase to 2 " by 9 " for wider machines||1 red reflex reflector or reflective tape at rear on each side &1 amber reflex reflector or reflective tape at front on each side with size of reflector to be 3 square inches or more 1|
|2||Yellow on front of machine|
|Conspicuity material to better define size and to increase visibility||Red retro- reflectors & fluorescent markers on rear corners 6 foot apart on rear. Front: change reflector color to yellow 2||Red
retro- reflective & red-orange fluorescent
Yellow retro- reflective
All mounted as horizontal & in line as practicable
Visible to front
Reflectors to be within 16 " of outside corners and fluorescent material within 25 " of outer corners. .
|Rotating Beacons||Not Addressed||2 yellow rotating beacons required if transporting perishable crops|
2 for trailing equipment >16. 4 ' behind hitch point,,display amber/yellow reflectors spaced <16. 4 ' apart on sides. .
Typical Accidents:facts and figures
For years 1994 through 1996,Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PA DOT)figures for farm equipment crashes show:
- 319 crashes with the highest number involving equipment moving straight ahead and the next highest involving equipment entering a driveway.
- Angle collisions predominated. Rear-end crashes were second.
- Crash numbers peaked between 3:00 and 6:00 P.M.
- Peak months were June and November.
- accidents peaked between 3:00 and 6:00 P. M.
- sideswipe and angle collisions predominated
- rear-end collisions were major crash cause
- 226 horse and buggy crashes - 89 rear--end and 79 angle
- Highest number of crashes were between 2 and 6 P.M. and in December
Vehicle Lighting & Safety Marking
|For more detailed information, refer to ASAE Standard 279. 10, Lighting and Marking of Agricultural Equipment on Highways and ASAE S276. 5, Slow-Moving Vehicle Identification Emblem.|
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Publication #: E-41
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Reviewed for NASD: 03/2003