Be Patient Or Be A Patient

Last night before heading to a dairy meeting, I showed my new teenage driver the big excitement of the farm that day. I wanted to make an impression on her that only visuals can make.

“Slow down, here,” I said as we approach the beginning of the skid marks. The black streaks on the pavement ran for approximately seventy feet, the last bit over a gravel drive and through a barb wire fence.

To be clear, I do not like to be forced to drive slowly behind farm machinery any more than anyone else does. I try to remember that when I’m driving a tractor on the road, and pull over to let others pass and not be delayed or inconvenienced. That whole do unto others thing.

Yesterday, I didn’t even get the chance to consider being nice. While I saw the car pull out on the road in my mirror, I had no expectation it would gain on me like it did in such a short distance. I also didn’t expect it to attempt passing me in a solid yellow no-passing zone on a blind curve.

As I turned the tractor and wagon to make the left turn I saw the car in the left-hand lane attempting to pass and I swerved back quickly to get out of the way. Brakes squealing, the car slid over the gravels, narrowly missing the tractor on one side and the corner post on the other, pushed down a few small fence posts, and stopped halfway across the fence.

Fortunately, no one was injured and we pulled the car out, and they were able to drive away with minor damage. Yet all of this was avoidable had they been patient for thirty more seconds.

Be careful, be courteous, and be kind. Watch out for tractors and slow moving vehicles. You never know who might be driving out there.

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