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How Do I Handle This W/My Neighbor?

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  • How Do I Handle This W/My Neighbor?

    Preface: my property is long/skinny w/about 1/2 mile gravel road frontage. I have a large track that runs around my upper pasture and part of it lies next to the road. It's about 25/30 feet off the road, with a tree line. I ride here and so do the kids.

    One of my neighbors is a farmer who leases land that he gets to by coming down this road. He uses very large tractors and equipment such as discs, harrows, etc. etc. His work crew drives up and down this road numerous times a day at VERY high speeds - faster than any car ever goes. I'm not great at judging speed but I would say they are going 35 - 40 mph, perhaps more. The tires and equipment throw large rocks and gravel up onto the track every time they come thru. There is no set time that they do this, and they may make 4-6 passes in 30 minutes and then not again for two days.. or not come thru at all for 3 days. There is no predicting. My concern is that someday someone riding or a horse will be hit w/a rock.

    This is a small community and I have reason to believe he knows and perhaps his crew does this "for fun" whatever that may be. I need to communicate to him that they need to slow down for safety's sake. Before I moved here there was an accident in the curve on this road where one of his crew was going too fast and lost control and hit a car during the accident. Apparently liability is not on his mind because nothing has changed.

    What do I do? I have spoken to one of his guys one time with no result. Obviously I need to talk or write a letter to him directly. What do I say? I want to say "what the eff is wrong w/you and your people that you are doing something so unsafe and quite frankly, rude!" but I know that honey catches more flies than vinegar. But the situation brings out the vinegar in me.. so I need help. Examples, please! Thank you!

    And... if I request that they slow down, and they don't.. what can I do? The guy who starts horses for me is also a sheriff.. should I ask him what to do? I hate to bother him with un-horsie questions if I don't have to, I imagine he gets sick of that...
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2
    Perhaps sherrif friend will be the one to get hit wiht a rock while riding a horse - and then he will become interested in making them slow down....

    Comment


    • #3
      Can you just have the police set up a speed trap in the area for a little while? Our police department has specific procedures for these types of complaints.

      Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        I would call the sheriff friend while he was at work and in his official capacity and tell/ask him if you should make an official complaint. Maybe they will talk to the guy and get the point across before you do move forward with something more official. I am not one to call the cops, but you've tried to talk to this yo-yo and are getting nowhere. I know if something happened to one of your children you would never forgive yourself, and on that basis alone I would give him a call.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would deal with this thru your city/county. Judging by the fact they has already been an accident and they won't slow down talking to him probably isn't going to do anything except single you out as a "problem" neighbour (at least to him).

          I feel your pain though! We're only about 10 feet from a rural highway and we've got tractor trailors who like to go by a 100kms/hr (about 60 mph?), there was a bike awhile back doing at least 150 - and a subsequent plot between us and the neighbours to stack haybales out on the road when we heard him comming - who presumably has been nabbed by the cops because he's stopped.
          "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
          Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
          Need You Now Equine

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear Farmer XXX,

            I've always been such a fan of yours and I love your farm equipment. Recently, however, I have not had the opportunity to admire the equipment as much as I would like because it's moving too fast down the road. I barely have time to catch a glimpse when--POW!--a rock sails by me after it was thrown up from under the speeding tires, and by the time I have straightened up out of my reflexive crouch the tractor is gone. Next time I might have to shoot out a tire so I can slow the thing down long enough to get a good look.

            All the best,

            EqTrainer

            I'm sure someone else will have a better idea of what to write, but I had fun with this.
            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

            Comment


            • #7
              EqTrainer, I suggest you contact him directly, either by telephone or face to face.

              You might "have reason to believe" that he's aware but not taken any action, but it could also be that he has talked to his workers and they've ignored him. I know, shocking idea, isn't it?

              Instead of condemning him before you actually speak to him, go under the assumption that he's not aware they haven't slowed down.

              Since you live in a small community, going for the big guns before you've tried to straighten out this problem privately, will not put you in the best light with your neighbors. I'm sure that's not something you want.

              I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, until they remove it by their words and actions.

              Ignore the people who are telling you to lay into him. All that's going to do is give you the reputation for being difficult to live near.

              Judge him by his reaction to you and your requests and concerns, not your demands.
              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
                Dear Farmer XXX,

                I've always been such a fan of yours and I love your farm equipment. Recently, however, I have not had the opportunity to admire the equipment as much as I would like because it's moving too fast down the road. I barely have time to catch a glimpse when--POW!--a rock sails by me after it was thrown up from under the speeding tires, and by the time I have straightened up out of my reflexive crouch the tractor is gone. Next time I might have to shoot out a tire so I can slow the thing down long enough to get a good look.

                All the best,

                EqTrainer

                I'm sure someone else will have a better idea of what to write, but I had fun with this.
                I love the POW part!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Try and handle it quietly and with the farmer himself before going anywhere else with it. If your farming community is anything like mine, the farmers can do no wrong so complaining to authorities will get you nowhere fast (and may just bite you in the butt some day). Pick your sheriff friend's brain about it. Chances are he knows the farmer and can approach him about it for you.
                  Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                  http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am always a fan of dealing directly and professionally with the person(s) involved. If that fails then make a official report to the sheriff.

                    What to say. "Sir, could you ask your employees to slow down on the gravel road near my property. The tires throw debris onto my property and the equipment causes fear and distress to my animals. I know you have a time schedule to meet and I know that time is money. But it would be very kind to myself and my animals if you would have your guys just slow down a bit. And i would really truly appreciate it!"

                    Don't get mad. Do not throw out accusations. Do bot be angry. Be courteous and kind and most thoroughly professional! You can rip him a new one later if this does not work. But if you start by giving him a new orifice he will reciprocate in kind!
                    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would make it a point to go talk to the farmer (nicely), IN PERSON, not by writing a letter. My F-I-Law, husband, and myself farm, and sometimes we have helpers drive the tractors here to there...If at all possible, try to get a description of the fast drivers-is it ALL of them?-maybe the farmer doesn't know how recklessly they are driving! When tractors hauling equipment go as fast as you are describing, sometimes the equipment they pull gets damaged-and it's $$$$ damage. This information may just get them to slow down-or may get them fired, I don't know. We had one "helper" a few years ago, who everytime he drove something, he damaged it, because he was very hard on, and reckless with, our equipment. He can stack hay now, but not drive the tractors.

                      We also have a 'gentlemen's agreement' right-of-way through my property...From the main road, you go through our yard, to get to my F-I-L's field, which these other guys have corn planted in...ANYWAY, there's one guy who drives waaay to fast through here. I asked him once, nicely, to slow down-and last week I TOLD him the next time he comes through here that fast again, he'd better find a helicopter, because I will not allow him to drive through my property again (told F-I-L too). I was NOT nice that time... He got the message-driving at normal speeds now.

                      Good Luck, some of these guys are real jerks!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Woodland View Post
                        I am always a fan of dealing directly and professionally with the person(s) involved. If that fails then make a official report to the sheriff.

                        What to say. "Sir, could you ask your employees to slow down on the gravel road near my property. The tires throw debris onto my property and the equipment causes fear and distress to my animals. I know you have a time schedule to meet and I know that time is money. But it would be very kind to myself and my animals if you would have your guys just slow down a bit. And i would really truly appreciate it!"

                        Don't get mad. Do not throw out accusations. Do bot be angry. Be courteous and kind and most thoroughly professional! You can rip him a new one later if this does not work. But if you start by giving him a new orifice he will reciprocate in kind!
                        ditto.
                        Once escalated, it's almost impossible to ramp back. My good friend says, "power, once used, is gone."

                        Treat him in such a way that he doesn't have to get defensive, but rather WANTS to help because you're so darn reasonable.

                        And if he's unreasonable, you can make a different choice about how to respond.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree. Moderation is the key. I used to work in juvenile court and found that, if reprimanded politely or asked to change a behavior rather than being harsh and getting an attitude, some of the worst juvenile offenders will turn into the most polite, helpful young men and women you'd ever want to meet. But talk to them disrespectfully, and you get the attitude of someone who'd just as soon kill you as look at you. If a kind tone can get through to those kids, it can get through to joy-riding farmers.
                          *Finally returned from the dead.*
                          One man's wrong lead is another man's counter-canter.
                          - S.D. Price

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You can build a berm of horse manure and shavings on your property between the track and the road. Just keep building it up till it is sufficient.
                            As much manure as horses put out, it shouldn't take long. This is the easiest way to solve problems with dust, dirt, gravel, etc., next to a country road.
                            I once boarded briefly where the BO's family had huge dump trucks hauling sand from an adjacent quarry. Those truck drivers ALWAYS stopped for horses, even my 2 who didn't bat an eye at dump trucks or tractors.
                            Maybe these guys don't know that they are throwing gravel, and maybe if you tell them, they'll be more careful. Meanwhile, begin the berm.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can you put up a privacy fence, or even tall bushy plants to block the thrown rocks?

                              I don't know what the speed limit is on your gravel road, but 30-45 mph is common around here, so if the farmer isn't doing anything illegal, I don't know what recourse you have in this situation. Or, you could do what someone did--put up a "Caution Deaf Child" sign. The house has been sold a couple of times, and the sign has been up for 20+ years, so if there ever was a deaf child, he's long gone now...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                                You can build a berm of horse manure and shavings on your property between the track and the road. Just keep building it up till it is sufficient.
                                .
                                Or you could make horse manure speed bumps

                                Is the speed limit posted? That could help. I also think the poster who said the farmer might not realize how reckless his workers are being is probably true. I would try talking to him (or sending a polite letter if you're not good face to face) before taking legal action.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  hmm.

                                  I am a big fan of the direct approach. How about just knocking on the door and talking to the guy? having to do 6 trips up and down the road...golly, that's time wasted for him, so I bet his crew is told to hurry up and get the work done. So if you let him know that gee, the equipment is kicking up huge rocks, if they could kinda slow down when somebody is riding there.

                                  If that does not help, then you can still go the official route. just don't do it when you are in the 'what the eff is wrong with you' mood. might not help your cause. you never know, you might be able to need him and his gear. don't want to get off on the wrong foot.

                                  And as somebody once told my mom, good neighbors are more important than a nice family.
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with the face to face, non-confrontational approach to start, from the perspective that the kids might get hurt. If that doesn't work, go to the police and perhaps consider placing a snowfence along the road to catch the flying stones.
                                    Hopefully, what seems like inconsiderate or deliberate behavior is just ignorance, and your neighbor will speak to his tenant farmer. Good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I vote for the thick hedge

                                      blueberries would be nice
                                      Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                      The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SGray View Post
                                        I vote for the thick hedge

                                        blueberries would be nice
                                        LOL, BLACK BERRIES

                                        Rasp Berries....heck, make it a habitat...

                                        no, wait...that means horse eating birds moving in....
                                        Originally posted by BigMama1
                                        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                        GNU Terry Prachett

                                        Comment

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