Regional Roads Victoria has reminded drivers to stay safe, this harvest season, as millions of tonnes of grain and other crops hit the roads.
RRV Regional Director (North Eastern) Steve Bowmaker said that with Victoria's winter crop yields expected to increase by six per cent this season, drivers needed to prepare for an influx of trucks and heavy agricultural machinery.
"Our farmers are such an important part of regional Victoria's economy, and the agricultural and freight industries have a key role to play in the state's recovery from coronavirus" Mr Bowmaker said.
"We can expect to see more trucks, tractors and machinery on our roads as our farmers prepare for another bumper harvest season.
"With that likely surge in heavy vehicles on our roads, we're asking drivers to be aware of the potential risks associated with encountering heavy machinery."
Heavy agricultural machinery often moves more slowly than other heavy vehicles, such as trucks, and can come in all shapes and sizes.
Drivers who do come across heavy machinery should slow down, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of them and should not attempt to pass until they're sure it is absolutely safe to do so.
"If wider, slower oversize vehicles have a pilot vehicle travelling ahead of them, pay attention to signage and obey any directions," Mr Bowmaker said.
Mr Bowmaker also urged those driving heavy vehicles to ensure that they were adequately rested before getting behind the wheel.
"Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of trauma on Victoria's roads," Mr Bowmaker said.
"We know that during harvest season, farmers do sometimes need to work longer hours. "What we're asking is that before anyone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they take a moment to assess if they feel suitably alert to drive.
"If you feel that you're too tired to drive, either swap with another licensed driver, or take 15 minutes to have a power nap.
"We want everyone to be able to do their jobs and get home safely at the end of the day."
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