I love autumn and I hate it. The harvest season with all those village festivals is heaven, but the harvesters turn it into hell. I’m talking, of course, about farmers who drive big, slow, muddy tractors on the main roads of Oxfordshire.

Coming into work at the BBC in Summertown this week from Headington I met two tractors on the ring road. What’s the word for a group of tractors? A nuisance.

They were going 20 miles per hour in the rush hour. Yes, they did have tall, flashing yellow lights but that didn’t stop the ensuing chaos. At least the tractors kept moving at a steady pace.

A broken-down tractor caused miles of tailbacks on the A34 at rush hour on April 7.

The wide tractor stalled in the middle of the southbound carriageway on the Oxford Western Bypass between the Pear Tree Interchange and the Wytham Lane turn-off at about 9am. It was not moved to a layby till 9.30. The blockage caused traffic queues for miles, as far north as Wendlebury.

Another tractor towing hay bales was involved in a crash with a car on the A40 near Eynsham.

It happened last month, at about 10pm on August 17. What is a tractor doing on a main arterial road between London and Wales at that time of night?

The tractor and its trailer blocked the road both ways after the crash.

A driver who was diverted around the road closure, Anne Croxford, from Thame, said: “We knew there had been an accident. We saw it was a really large tractor carrying stacks of bales. We did not see the other vehicle but the tractor and its trailer were right across the road.”

Both drivers were treated for minor injuries.

Paul Bremble, from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The driver of the private vehicle was very lucky not to have received more serious injuries from the collision…he left the carriageway, missing the trees, before he came to a stop on the Old Witney Road.

“Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind all drivers that during the harvest time there is a larger number of tractors and slow-moving vehicles on our roads than normal and to take care and be mindful of the added dangers at this time of year.”

But what can be done to reduce these dangers?

In March the Department for Transport announced a rise in the speed limit for tractors from 20mph to 25, but why not allow them to drive at 30mph?

The maximum weight limit for tractors and trailers also went up from 24 tonnes to 31, although the National Farmers’ Union wanted a weight limit of 33 tonnes. This will increase the amount of produce farmers can carry in one trip and lower the number of journeys and the risk of accidents.

Perhaps we need a new Rules of the Road book for tractor drivers who don’t give a damn when they have a queue of 20 or more cars behind them. Why do they do it?

These farmers could pull off into a layby or side road to let the cars go past. But they don’t. Why do they hunker down, blinkered and plod on? They know it’s wrong or at least antisocial bad form.

When I first joined the BBC, I remember the editor and his deputy discussing rules of etiquette.

The editor, John Bright, said: “My father gave me three: Never sleep with your mistress before noon. Never drink Champagne after port. Never hunt south of the river.”

His deputy, Stewart Woodcock, replied: “Well my father gave me just one – Never fart in the lift.”

I think the tractor driver on a main road is a case of farting in the lift. They know what’s happening.

They can look around and see the pained expressions, the waving arms and the eyes raised to the heavens, and yet they pretend everything is fine.

Well it isn’t and they need to get a grip.