'Think road safety' - Gardai warn farmers to strap down bales
A tractor and trailer carrying silage bales was stopped by Kilkenny Road Policing Unit last week.
Gardai said no straps were applied to the load and that the vehicle was grounded until straps were applied and load secured.
“It only took a few minutes to secure this load, think road safety,” gardai said.
Under road traffic law the bales must be properly loaded so that they are not liable to fall off, drag or cause danger and the load must be distributed in such a way that it is not likely to destabilise the vehicle.
There is no height limit for baled produce (e.g. hay, silage, straw etc.), however the load must not exceed the vehicle’s design gross weight and/or individual axle weight limits.
Shane O'Loughlin, Chairperson of Wicklow ICMSA has appealed to all road users to exercise caution during this time.
"Over that period there will be a very significant increase in the number of tractors and other farm machines on rural roads and it was incumbent on all roads users - whether farmers, contractors, car users, cyclists or pedestrians - to take additional precautions to ensure that silage can be harvested safely and without any accidents on roads," he said.
Mr O'Loughlin noted that agricultural machinery has got bigger over the years and particularly on narrow rural roads, it is critical that all road users take extra care and 'expect the unexpected' over the next six weeks.