Tags: SMV, Agriculture, Prevention, Incident, Farming, Farm Life, Free, Giveaway


April 3, 2024

CONTACT: Scott Heiberger

CONTACT: Melissa Ploeckelman

Slow Moving Vehicle signs available free for Wisconsin farmers

Project intended to increase visibility of agricultural equipment on public roadways

To raise safety awareness and potentially save lives, Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs are being distributed to farmers free of charge through an expanded partnership involving Marshfield Clinic Research Institute’s National Farm Medicine Center, Rural Mutual Insurance Co., H&S Manufacturing, and Nasonville Dairy.

The Wisconsin SMV Program, introduced in early 2023, is being re-launched with more participating businesses including machinery repair shops, fire departments, lenders, and feed cooperatives.

“We are off to a new start, and excited to see growing interest in agricultural safety on our public roadways,” said Bryan Weichelt, SMV program lead and Farm Medicine research scientist. “We are especially thankful for our financial supporters.”

SMV signs are available at the following businesses (while supplies last):

  • Allied Cooperative (formerly known as ProVision Partners) locations at:
    • Adams NAPA
    • Arcadia
    • Auburndale
    • Hixton
    • Mauston NAPA
    • Plover Agronomy
    • Seymour Feed Mill
    • Stratford Feed Mill and Tire Center
    • Tomah Country Store
    • West Salem Feed Mill
  • River Country Cooperative locations at:
    • Athens
    • Bloomer
    • Boyd
    • Chippewa Falls
    • Marathon
    • Owen
  • Marathon Feed in Marathon
  • Partners Bank, Stratford-Marshfield-Spencer
  • Pittsville Fire Company
  • Stratford Fire Department
  • Auburndale High School FFA, contact Mark Cournoyer

In addition, Rural Mutual will distribute signs on social media in May and at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, August 13-15, in Cadott. For a listing of distribution sites, please visit: www.marshfieldresearch.org/nfmc/smv  

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were 136 crashes involving motorists and farm vehicles in Wisconsin in 2022. The most recent Wisconsin Farm Related Fatalities reports show roadway deaths accounted for 15 percent of all farm-related fatalities (6 out of 40) in 2019 while in 2020 they accounted for 18 percent of fatalities (5 out of 28).

A SMV sign is a reflective orange triangle bordered with red that warns other road users that the vehicle displaying the sign is traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.

“It’s imperative that farmers make their equipment as visible as possible on public roadways through the SMV emblem and functional lighting systems that include flashers and turn signals,” said John Shutske, University of Wisconsin professor and agricultural safety & health specialist. Shutske has investigated hundreds of tragic farm-related incidents in multiple states during the past four decades.

“We owe it to our fellow motorists,” added Weichelt. “Just like you’d have working taillights on your pickup or minivan, we should be well marked and lighted in farm equipment, too. This program is here to help folks get their hands on free SMV emblems across the state of Wisconsin.”

If interested in supporting the program financially or as a distribution site, please contact the Farm Medicine SMV team at nfmcsh@marshfieldresearch.org.

For more information about lighting and marking recommendations and regulations for agricultural equipment in Wisconsin, visit: https://uwmadison.box.com/v/LightingAndMarking2023


Farm Equipment with SMV Emblem (.jpg)

SMV Emblem (.jpg)