A tractor is an essential tool on a farm but like any tool, operators must be familiar with the proper use of these machines and always observe safety protocols when using them. According to the United States Department of Labor tracker overturns account, 490 fatalities each year and are the leading cause of agricultural-related deaths. The National AG safety database estimates that rollovers, collisions and other tractor related incidents may cause as many as 250 fatalities annually.
Evert tractor manufacturing companies have compiled an excellent safety guide called the ten commandments of tractor safety. These safety guidelines that follow are adapted from these document guideline one know your tractor. Read the operator’s manual and make sure that the equipment is well-maintained.
10 Tractor Safety Guidelines:
1 – Before you use the tracker conduct a visual inspection of the tracker and attached equipment to make sure that everything appears to be in working order.
2 – Always make sure that the rollover protection structure or ROPs is in place and that you are wearing the seatbelt. These two safety devices are there to protect you in case of a rollover.
3 – Make yourself familiar with the terrain and potential hazards in the work area especially cautious on inclines as the potential for rollover is greatest on sloped areas. When driving on a slope going up or down the terrain, not across it. Keep a clear view around you and don’t allow an attached loader to block your line of sight.
4 – Never leave with tractors engine running in the closed garage or other closed space, carbon monoxide levels can build very quickly.
5 – Always keep your power take-off or PTO shielded. Always walk around the tractor or any PTO attached device rather than stepping over the PTO, it is always a trip hazard and is also a terrible habit to develop.
6 – That is also a good idea to check the distance of the drawbar and location of hoses or other parts that can be affected by the spinning driveshaft. Always keep hitches low and on the drawbar not doing so increases the chance for flipping the tractor backward.
7 – Never get off the tractor that is moving or leave attracted with the engine running. A runaway tractor has the potential to cause significant property damage or serious injury, this is especially true with tractors that are equipped with a forward-reverse leg. It’s very easy to accidentally engage the tractor by bumping the lever while exigent.
8 – Always turn off the engine before reviewing to reduce the risk of fire and let the engine cool before attempting to add any coolant.
9 – Do not allow passengers to ride unless the tractor is equipped with a passenger seat. The rollover protection in single-seat tractors is designed to protect only the operator who is strapped in with the seatbelt.
10 – Never leave things to chance or get in too big of a hurry, always consider safety first.
Here are a few other things to consider and take note of when approaching a moving tractor. Maintain a safe distance until you can get the driver’s attention. Always watch for others who may not realize the dangers of approaching the tractor with moving equipment. If necessary stop and shut down the equipment to properly inform them to stay clear or move to a safe area. Remember to check the limitations of your equipment for example when mowing with a batwing. Mower sharp turns can create extreme torque in tension on the PTO drive shaft and caused damage to the equipment or the tractors PTO, it may be necessary to disengage the PTO while making a turn to reduce the torque and tension on the shaft after the turn is completed. The implement can be engaged again to continue mowing operations by following these tractor safety guidelines and always thinking of safety first most tractor accidents and injuries can be avoided.
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