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Bulletin #2335, Hand Signals Useful for Farmers

Maine Farm Safety Program

Hand Signals Useful for Farmers

By Dawna L. Cyr, farm safety project assistant, and Steven B. Johnson, Ph.D., Extension crops specialist
Illustrations by Jennifer W. Johnson

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Work around either field or farmstead machinery is apt to be noisy and, if more than one worker is involved, risky as well. Communication between workers is essential to avoid confusion and possibly an accident.

  • Train employees in hand signals useful for agriculture.
  • Know hand signals useful for agriculture.

For many years, hand signals have been used by the military, construction workers and factory laborers in communicating when voice communications are impossible or apt to be misunderstood. Uniformity in signaling is essential when many people must work together doing hazardous jobs.

You probably use more signals than you realize. However, uniformity is the key point and reason enough to get the farm crew together for a training session.

One person should study and learn the signals beforehand. This person will demonstrate them accurately and explain the circumstances when they are to be used. Each person, including family members, should have the opportunity to practice the signals. After learning the signals, use them whenever you can under real working conditions.

The following signals were developed by the Indiana Farm Safety Council, refined by the National Institute for Farm Safety and then adopted by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers as ASAE Standard ASAE S351, Hand Signals for use in Agriculture.

Start Engine
Stop Engine
This Far to Go Take Off Speed Up
Slow Down Come to Me Move Toward Me

This Maine Farm Safety fact sheet is part of an educational fact sheet series produced by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For more information on farm safety, contact your UMaine Extension county office.

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2002

Call 800.287.0274 (in Maine), or 207.581.3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit

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Image Description: farm

Image Description: Hand Signal for Start Engine

Image Description: Hand Signal for Stop

Image Description: Hand Signal for Stop Engine

Image Description: Hand Signal for This Far to Go

Image Description: Hand Signal for Take Off

Image Description: Hand Signal for Speed Up

Image Description: Hand Signal for Slow Down

Image Description: Hand Signal for Come to Me

Image Description: Hand Signal for Move Toward Me

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension Publications
University of Maine, 5741 Libby Hall, Room 114
Orono, ME 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3792 | Fax: 207.581.1387
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System