Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
As I understand it, tractors are not allowed on motorways. However, they are a regular sight on the dual carriageways of Cornwall and Devon where I live.

Now the maximum speed limit is the same on each, and the danger is arguably greater when there are only two lanes instead of three. Combine this with drivers with absolutely no sense of forward planning whatsoever and you get a 20mph moving wall of cars surrounding this ignorant lump.

Other cars approach at 70mph (and higher if they are naughty) and then slam on the anchors very late.

My point is this: tractors and other very slow moving vehicles are a serious hazard on dual carriageways. Is there a case for banning them altogether or restricting their movements to hours when other traffic is lighter.

I haven't seen a serious accident involving or caused by one of these yet (touch wood), but have been involved in so many sudden near misses and stops as people swerve around them that it can't be too long...
Tractors on dual carriageways - Marky Mark
I often seem them on the A38 on trips from Exeter to Plymouth. Serious hazard & I cannot understand how they are allowed, especially as they have little or no rear lighting to speak of. ISTR there was a fatal accident a year or so ago when someone rear ended a tractor. The tractor driver was of course ok.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Pugugly {P}
I think you've put your finger on it. A great deal of the near misses I've seen are down to the poor driving standards b car drivers. Most driving by Tractor drivers (on duals) are of a high standard - Tractors are obliged ot dispaly flashing amber lights on trunk roads and duals.
Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
Yes, those ignorant fools travelling along at 70mph, not expecting something on the carriageway moving at 20mph in front of them...
Tractors on dual carriageways - Greg Parker
I think that there should be a road adjacent to carriageways for slow moving traffic (e.g. 30-40 mph). This would improve road safety. However, the government does not think about road safety. Take the example of making an extra lane on motorways by using the hard shoulder as another lane. Isn't this a bit dangerous if one breaks down!
Tractors on dual carriageways - BobbyG
Another problem from tractors, especially round my way, is the amount of mud etc that they put on the road. A road I travel regularly has fields either side and the farmers criss cross their way along the road to access their fields.

In the same line of thinking as the previous post, that it is the car drivers fault travelling at 70 and finding a tractor doing 20, then the same rule could be applied to the driver doing 60 on a dry road to suddenly come across thick muck, especially at junctions where manoeuvres will be happening!

But as is always the case, I don't see a practical solution to the problem!
Tractors on dual carriageways - LongDriver {P}
An interestin gpint if any of you aren't aware of it:

The A1 Newcastle/Gateshead western bypass has a slow-moving vehicle ban between 0700-0900 and 1600-1900 approx, during which periods agricultural vehicles and JCBs (or backhoe loaders to be more generic) are not permitted to use the section of A1 between Washington and Newcastle raceourse.

I believe this is the first one in the country - they had to invent a new road sign with a picture of a JCB specially for it - and it has made incredible improvements on traffic flow on that section of road.

Generally though, the main problem with tractors is that (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong) they are not required to observe the general rules of the road in terms of indicators, brake lights, headlights, fog lights, numberplates, roadworthiness etc.

I have had near misses in the past with tractors, due in general to their lack of lights and general ignorance of road and traffic around them.

It's about time tractors and other agricultural vehicles were required to be fully road legal at all times AND that they are required to pull over when there are more than 4 vehicles behind them.

Rant rant rant.... I could go on, but I will let someone else
Tractors on dual carriageways - SteveH42
I believe this is the first one in the country ... and it has made
incredible improvements on traffic flow on that section of road.


I think the only way to improve the traffic flow on the Western Bypass is to do some serious driver education. This section is a nightmare as you get so many drivers who simply have no idea how to drive in heavy traffic or overtake properly. You usually get both lanes crawling at 40 or 50 because someone has pulled out to overtake a slower car but then refuses to pull back in or speed up to the limit. This section of road really should have been 3 lanes from the outset.
Tractors on dual carriageways - LongDriver {P}
Dirty roads:

Farmers please note:

About 60 years ago, somebody invented a vehicle mounted cleaning device called a road brush....

Please make use of this wonderful invention.

You ARE legally obliged to, so start doing it!!!!

We, in the construction industry are required to keep the roads in a clean condition, which we make great efforts to do.

Farmers: please follow our lead.

Don't complain about the cost - we pay too much for your produce as it is.
Tractors on dual carriageways - teabelly
Don't complain about the cost - we pay too much for
your produce as it is.


Actually we don't. Most produce is nearly produced at a loss as supermarkets have driven down prices to seriously low levels. If it is expensive it is down to supermarkets charging high prices. Hmm, transport costs? (desperately crow bars in a motoring link.....)

Farmers should clean up the roads and all agricultural vehicles while on the public highway should have flashing lights ablaze and a full set of road legal lights. A useful sign out the back should say when they are about to turn right, particularly on a straight stretch of road as I have seen several people nearly collect tractors as they have sat behind them for miles around twisty roads and at the first straight they take off only to find the tractor is turning right and they are going to be eating trailer if they don't stand on the brakes.

I think slow moving vehicles are supposed to pull in after a certain distance anyway but I don't know what it is. This sort of information should be on TV ads so that people know. Say x amount of miles and they have to pull in to allow all following traffic to get past or they have to make greater efforts to allow people to overtake them and generally be a little more considerate to others around them. The other big problem is some people that will not overtake so in order for you to get past you have to overtake them aswell. Perhaps they need a sign that says 'I'm not an overtaker so please go past me'.
teabelly
Tractors on dual carriageways - LongDriver {P}
Don't complain about the cost - we pay too much for
your produce as it is.



Oh yes we do!

We may only pay 20p for a pound of spuds in the supermarket, but we probably pay another 20p+ in subsidies via taxation.

Agricultural products actually cost us in excess of 50% more than we pay directly for them in the shops.

That money is paid to farmers.

I've never met a poor one...so why can't they clean up the road behind them.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Baskerville
We may only pay 20p for a pound of spuds in
the supermarket, but we probably pay another 20p+ in subsidies


That sounds like a supermarket price to me: Maris Bard are 8p per pound at the farm shop up the road here. At 20p per pound they've probably been round the world a couple of times. Local potatoes in the local Safeway are packed somewhere in Holland apparently.
Tractors on dual carriageways - deere3350
Don't complain about the cost - we pay too much for
your produce as it is.

>>

I think you'll find that's down to the supermarkets..

And no, despite my user name, I'm not connected to the agricultural industry. :)
Tractors on dual carriageways - Clanger
Now steady on here.

Tractors have been using dual carriageways since before many of you started driving. By reputation and personal experience they are slow, dirty, unpredictable and many do not have working lights. Farmers will tell you that they need their tractors to get from one part of their land to another and if that means driving on dual carriageways to do so, we should be prepared to let them get on with it.

I detect in this thread some "It's my God-given right to hammer along at 70+ mph and stuff anyone in a slower vehicle. Wrong. It's called sharing. Some people will go quickly, some slower. Tractors will travel slowly and leave dirt behind, but it was always thus. Chill and get used to it if you haven't already.

I'm not a farmer and have never driven a tractor on a public road, but I know what a tractor looks like and my enormous powers of experience and anticipation tell me that a tractor will be travelling slower than other traffic so I would tend to either steer, lift off or use the brakes to avoid the hazard.

Simple and it works.
H.
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Tractors on dual carriageways - Sheepy-by-the-Sea
Agree in principle - but having seen (in poor lighting) more than one instance of a tractor with a flashing light on its roof towing an unlit trailer stacked high with bales making said light invisible it's not always that easy!
Tractors on dual carriageways - Dan J
Here here.

Tractors are not a hazard on the road. Believe you me, from experience, you will NOT take a tractor along a dual carriageway unless you have no other choice. Ninety odd percent of farm machinery never goes more than three miles (don't have time to explain, just take it as read for the time being) from it's "host" farm. In which case, yes, it's a ballache encountering them but they usually turn off shortly afterwards.

A tractor could turn off anywhere. Often they have implements behind them which obstruct any lighting anyway. If in doubt - don't. If you want to do some risky overtaking manoeuvre past 20 tons of metal then go ahead. No question who is going to come off worst there.

Tractors have just as much right as you or anyone else to be on the roads, likewise a milk float. If it stops you driving at 85mph for half a mile then so be it.

Regarding the "subsidies" comments. Try looking round on google regarding the distribution of EU subsidies etc - who ends up with the bulk of them? British farmers? I think not...
Tractors on dual carriageways - M.M
In just a few minutes Dan and Hawkeye have covered much of the argument.

No tractor driver or farmer wants to use the road. Transporting between fields is all wasted working time folding up the kit and setting it up again. Going on the road also exposes you to huge risks from errant car drivers.

As mentioned three miles is a common maximum and half a mile is often nearer the mark.

Oh and two reasons why road use is often needed...

1. Because the compulsory purchase of a strip of farm was made thirty years ago to build the road for us all to rush along...thereby splitting the farm and forcing road use.

2. Govenment and EU policy forces the small farmers out of business in favour of the larger owners so more and more tractors have to "hop" the gap between farms.

It is true most farmers are not poor, but their wealth is often in the very property that makes the business possible. It is a fact that farms worth £500,000 plus may only produce an income that a 20yr old admin clerk would make in a year.

I think if most of us were setting up a business with half a million we'd want to see a better return than that.

Anyway what on earth do you want to see tractors using indicators for? You know they're all turning right in a few yards.


M.M
Tractors on dual carriageways - terryb
Hawkeye hit the nail on the head and Dan and Middleman drove it home. If everyone realised that their personal journey was NOT the most important thing on the road we'd all be better off.

Regarding indicators - why should tractors be any different to the average BMW or Audi driver?
:o)
Terry
Tractors on dual carriageways - eMBe {P}
Hawkeye hit the nail on the head and Dan and Middleman
drove it home. If everyone realised that their personal journey was
NOT the most important thing on the road we'd all be
better off.


Agree. Farmers are essential to us urbanites. Lay off farmer-bashing. We all know tractors are slow, but tractors are big enough for you to see and slow down in good time. If this gives you a problem, your driving skils are questionable.

Regarding indicators - why should tractors be any different to the average BMW or Audi driver?>> :o)>> Terry>>


No reason at all. As we are performing essential services for human-life, we have the god given right to be arrogant. he he he ;-).
Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
I'm not sure anyone has said that tractors have no right on the road. This is a misrepresentation of the argument.

I believe tractors have every right to be on the dual carriageway under current legislation, but I believe this is a misplaced right.

Tractors on dual carriageways are dangerous, whether you tell people to drive better or not. Removing them from the dual carriageway would greatly reduce the dangers associated with a vehicle moving at 20mph on a carriageway designed to maintain speeds of 70mph. It's not rocket science. And is plain and obvious to anyone who has ever passed a tractor on a reasonably busy dual carriageway.

Yet again we have two groups of people:

1) Farmers - who assume the people perpetuating the 'no tractors on dual carriageways argument' are knocking farmers. I'm certainly not, just suggesting a safer way to behave.

2) Superdrivers - who assume that everyone has the superhuman advanced driving skills that they themselves possess. Oh, and that uncanny skill of reading the future to divine when an accident is about to happen due to a mere mortal's poor driving skills up ahead.

I fail to see how people can argue that tractors are not a hazard on dual carriageways. I await a sensible argument that will convince me against numerous personal experiences.
Tractors on dual carriageways - M.M
OK lp let's try it another way...

How would you have farmers move their tractors/eqpt to fields along A roads that have been made into dual carriageways?

M.M
Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
Back roads, taking the (much) longer route if necessary. I can put up with following a tractor on a B road or a track, as I understand it is necessary. I can't put up with me, or any inferior driver, slamming into one on the dual carriageway...or into the huge blob of slow moving congestion he has created.
Tractors on dual carriageways - eMBe {P}
MM - with you on this.

Townies think tractors should stay on the field and only be driven on a road on the back of a transporter on the way to the farm. Once on a farm, the tractor should never leave the field.
The same townies think foxes are cute, and the same townies think fruit & veg & milk & meat is made in a factory. And money grows on EU trees to be handed out to anyone who owns a tractor.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Flat in Fifth
just suggesting a safer way to behave.


And of course asking drivers to realise by virtue of the regulations that NSL dual carriageways are not motorways and therefore have such things as traffic lights, roundabouts, right turning and crossing traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and slow moving traffic is also I submit suggesting a safer way to behave.

A38 Lichfield to Burton on Trent used to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country precisely because drivers treated it like a motorway, which it clearly is not and never will be. A lot of the hazards involving crossing traffic has been removed but the others remain. (TL's and roundabouts never on this section within my memory anyway, but willing to be corrected)

So presumably now we should build extra roads, (paid for by EU? ie we consumers) so that drivers can hack along car in fifth brain in neutral? And the farmers etc drive up their own little roads and cross their own little bridges?

I seem to remember a fatac where a biker ran into the back of tractor in full daylight on a single carriageway. So what then? ban tractors? Even the ones that can do 60?

Jesus some people even manage to hit skips in broad daylight!

Sorry for the rant but this thread annoys me. Its the I'm SO important get out of my way you [xxxxxxxx]. Insert tractor, cyclist, small old car driver, caravan, JCB, what have you.

grrrrrrrrr!

(Nurse time for my pills!)
Tractors on dual carriageways - eMBe {P}
>>
(Nurse time for my pills!)


FiF - join the queue, along with Sean on the "VW VR6 with no ABS" thread.
Tractors on dual carriageways - enigma2
JCB's are restricted by law to a maximum speed of somewhere in the region of 20mph. This varies with the age of the machine also as they tend either to slow down or speed up with age.
They could go faster as proved by the JCB fast track tractor (50mph) but they have different suspension for site work.
Believe me, it is very difficult to control a digger on the road. It has no springs or suspension--dampers come in the form of the air in the tyres only.
Users of diggers are constantly issued with new regulations to ensure "roadworthiness." Moving over when you have a few cars behind is only voluntary--not mandatory. Bearing in mind that if the JCB was to do so, he would never reach the site!
Tractors on dual carriageways - Rob C
I'm with FIF on this. Anyone who bombs alongs safe in the knowledge that there will never be a stationary vehicle in the outside lane, will one day get a big surprise.
Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
Like ostriches, if you don't mind me saying so gentlemen. Heads in the sand. It shouldn't happen therefore it doesn't. If it does, it is the ignorant drivers' fault.

But that doesn't belate the fact that every week or so I observe a very near miss with these hazardous vehicles on the dual carriageways of Devon and Cornwall.

I'd argue that you know as well as I do that the driving of tractors and other very slow-moving vehicles on dual carriageway confounds the expectations of your average (mortal) driver. I say remove this unecessary risk. The timed prevention of slow-moving traffic mentioned in a previous post strikes me as an EXCELLENT idea and compromise.

Whilst running the risk of being patronising, can I suggest you view this from the viewpoint of someone (probably the majority) not connected with agriculture in any way and so not so sympathetic to the plight of the poor farmer?
Tractors on dual carriageways - Clanger
" I say remove this unecessary risk. "

Well, now, where do you stop with this removal of uneccessary risk project?

HGV's, PCV's, bicyles, drivers over 70 (or should that be 60, or even 50?), drivers under 20, (or 30 just to be on the safe side), road sweepers, tractors (naturally), milk floats and children from urban streets, Volvos, Citroens, Land Rovers, BMW's, vintage cars, drivers with hats, smokers, sweetie eaters ...

As for confounding expectations, finding a tractor on a Motorway, yes, that would confound expectations. Dual carriageways were designed to allow safer overtaking by not forcing the overtaking vehicle into a lane normally used by oncoming traffic. They were in place long before cars were capable of cruising at 70+ all day. Keep that in mind next time you accelerate with the intention of cruising at 70 on a dual carriageway.

Safe driving, leatherpatches, and watch out for those slow-moving hazards.





H.
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Tractors on dual carriageways - Altea Ego
" I say remove this unecessary risk. "
Well, now, where do you stop with this removal of uneccessary
risk project?
HGV's, PCV's, bicyles, drivers over 70 (or should that be 60,
or even 50?), drivers under 20, (or 30 just to be
on the safe side), road sweepers, tractors (naturally), milk floats and
children from urban streets, Volvos, Citroens, Land Rovers, BMW's, vintage cars,
drivers with hats, smokers, sweetie eaters ...


At last, someone who knows what they are talking about. A sensible idea. I suggest that the rules be made thus

DRivers below the age of 48 and above 50 be banned, Women banned, HGV's banned, PSV's banned, Motorbikes banned, any car other than 03 reg Renault Laguna's banned.

Right who does that leave - oooo me. Happy motoring me!

OH! you expect me to pay all the missing road tax from all the banned drivers! oh dear!
Tractors on dual carriageways - Andrew-T
Sorry, lp - please admit defeat on this one. MM and his team have put a strong and valid case which I support. A dual carriageway is built to be a fast road, but that cannot guarantee that everything on it should move fast - even on a motorway there is no enforced minimum speed (though there is in other countries). As a car driver you have no right to demand that other road users take less convenient routes just to make your life simpler.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Dwight Van Driver
With you Rob and Fif.

It is the anticipation of the unexpected which is the hall mark of a good driver.

Clues are there. Devon/Cornwall like N. Yorks lot of farming in both counties. Now it is the start of corn harvest followed by spuds and as MM says many farmers now HAVE to use roads to get their crops in to base. Not surprising then one is going to encounter a slow mover round that bend.

Bit like going along the road and noting the bins and bags are out awaiting collection. Surprise, surprise the next thing is great whacking refuse truck on the road.

DVD
Tractors on dual carriageways - leatherpatches
Ok, I admit defeat. Because it shouldn't happen, it doesn't.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Hugo {P}
Moving over when you have a few cars behind is
only voluntary--not mandatory. Bearing in mind that if the JCB was
to do so, he would never reach the site!



Fraid I have to take issue on that.

A few years ago in Devon a JCB driver received points on his licence for Driving Without Due Care. The actual deed committed was failing to pull over to allow a long and growing queue of cars to overtake.

I used to follow a JCB regularly on my way into work. However, I knew exactly when I would overtake him, because he would pull in and allow the traffic to pass.


****Signature? - Ideas on a postcard please anyone!****

Hugo
Tractors on dual carriageways - Dwight Van Driver
Back to square one Hugo.

Same set of circumstances couple of years ago near Harrogate involving a Tractor. Driver sheeted for driving without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.
Appeared at Harrogate mags and ?

Case dismissed.

DVD
Tractors on dual carriageways - martint123
How about this one from the Highway Code.
Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. rather than just hammering along in autopilot mode. (having been rear-ended on a dual carriageway by someone doing 60 when everyone else had stopped).

Martin
Tractors on dual carriageways - Pugugly {P}
Well, never gueass what - on the way to an evening appointment (not all beer and skittles you know) plodding on dual carriageway in perfect light and weather, mind occupied with things Land Rover when I found myself heading towards a properly lit and driven tractor and trailer at a fair old rate of knots with cars overtaking me had to brake harder than usual....goes to show its usually the idiot in the BMW that's to blame.
Tractors on dual carriageways - HF
In that one post, PU, you have somehow managed to link all the major issues going on right now in the forum!

Tractors, speed, overtaking, BMWs, and idiots!

Tractors on dual carriageways - Flat in Fifth
In that one post, PU, you have somehow managed to link
all the major issues going on right now in the forum!
Tractors, speed, overtaking, BMWs, and idiots!


HF sacrilege!

you forgot diesels! (it's a 530d so I think that counts!)
Tractors on dual carriageways - Cliff Pope
Tractors of course are not the only kind of moving agricultural artefact, actually the fastest. Try following a herd of cows or sheep. They are all road users and all have equal rights to use the Queen's Highway. Try being a farmer for a day and you will quickly see the world from an entirely different perspective.

My uncle used to drive flocks of sheep along the Great North Road (A1 now) near Grantham in the 50s and 60s. If you tried it now you'd be run down before you even waved your red warning flag.
Tractors on dual carriageways - hootie
Combine this with drivers with absolutely no sense of forward planning whatsoever and you get a 20mph moving wall of cars surrounding this ignorant lump.
Other cars approach at 70mph (and higher if they are naughty)
and then slam on the anchors very late.



Seeing as by definition there are two lanes available on a dual carriageway, I think the reason for any perceived problems lies in the rest of the post as above?

Anything could cause an obstruction ahead - a dead animal on the road, an accident, a breakdown. So long as the tractor is roadworthy, then I have no problems with them.

Or, maybe, living in the countryside I'm just more tolerant of the fact that a farmer has his work to do and needs to utilise the means with which to do it. *Most* of the tractor drivers around here are pretty fair at pulling over when they can, if necessary - most, but not all....however, in the overall scheme of things, we're not talking about that great a delay - it just seems like it at the time.
Tractors on dual carriageways - RogerL
Agricultural vehicles have been using these roads since they were only wide enough for one wagon. They need these roads to go about their business. Motorways ban slow-moving vehicles but other parallel routes have to be left for "non-motorway traffic". The UK's "motorway" network was built on the cheap by building some routes as dual-carriageways instead of motorways. Don't blame the farmers, blame the Ministry of Transport. They took enough money out of motorists to build every A-road as a motorway, but put the money in general coffers instead.
Tractors on dual carriageways - Andrew-T
Roger - I think you forgot the smiley at the end of your last post?
 

Value my car