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New research reveals UK tractor rage is alive and well

Tractor rage is alive and well on Britain’s roads, according to a new survey from PER Hire.

The agricultural hire specialist quizzed car drivers about their frustrations with tractors on the road, revealing that nearly 65 per cent were most annoyed with being held up in tailbacks and 31 per cent fed up with tractors on the road during rush hour.

Most concerning is that this frustration often leads to anger and abuse, which could prove a dangerous distraction for drivers. PER Hire also asked farmers about their experiences on the road and found that BMW drivers were predictably the most commonly spotted ‘ragers’, with transit van drivers following a close second. Nearly a third of farmers had seen an accident as a result of car drivers’ impatience, with many quoting a frequent trick of raging drivers overtaking dangerously and then slamming on their brakes once in front of the tractor.

PER Hire, an agricultural and plant hire company based in Berkshire, is calling for tolerance between members of the public and farmers on the road. “Traffic isn’t getting any lighter on Britain’s roads and people are under increasing pressure to get to work on time or get home quickly, so it’s understandable that being held up is frustrating,” explains Chris George, agricultural hire manager at PER Hire.

“However, the public may also not be aware that tractor drivers are subject to the laws of the road as well as any other road user, and they make every effort to drive with consideration. They don’t gain any pleasure from causing problems on the road and will frequently pull over to let traffic pass, but drivers must be aware that on certain roads this won’t always be possible,” concludes George.

To help ensure tractor drivers play their part in reducing incidents of ‘tractor rage’, PER Hire suggests the following top tips:

Reduce hazards

Be aware of the mud your tractor may have brought onto the public highway and take necessary steps to reduce this occurring. Place visible warnings to drivers on the road.

Be seen

Trailers built since 1990 and used on public roads must be fitted with direction indicator lights. Warn people in advance where you are going to avoid a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.

Show consideration

Where possible, find a place to pull in on a regular basis and let the traffic pass. Avoid possible penalties for driving without reasonable consideration for other vehicles.

Don’t be overweight

The maximum gross train weight (GTW) – the total weight of the tractor, the trailer and its load – is 24,390kg. Make sure you are legally loaded and travelling at safe speeds.

Wide load

Police must be notified before farm equipment more than 3m wide travels on a public road. Don’t cause an obstruction without the proper support and preparation offered by the police.


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