Safe Use of Tractors — Guidelines

Agricultural enterprises rely on tractors for their muscle power. The most common type of farm equipment is also a potential source of injuries and loss of life. When operators disregard safety requirements, tragedies happen. Discover the 10 commandments of proper tractor use in 2021.

Tractors carry implements, transport materials, pull wagons and provide power to other equipment. Every model found on has its specifics, but some rules are universal. They will help you avoid property damage, medical bills, insurance costs, and reduced productivity.

Top Ten Safety Rules

Manufacturers are continually improving the design of their equipment to enhance safety. Sadly, the machines cannot recognize unsafe conditions. Operators aware of possible hazards are better equipped to avoid problems. Here are the top ten rules.

1.    The Right Equipment for the Operator

Different models have different sizes and levels of sophistication. The attached machinery also varies. This means the operator should match the tractor in terms of size, experience, and decision-making skills.

2.    No Kids Allowed

There should be one person on a tractor at all times. For children, there is no safe position. Any additional riders distract the operator, so he is less attentive to detail and more likely to make mistakes.

3.    Rollover Protection Is a Must

This system is absolutely crucial. The third-safest tractor has a two-post rollover protection system. The second-safest model has a system with four posts. Finally, the safest tractor in the US has a ROPS with an enclosed cab.

4.    Do Not Leave the Seat

During operation, you must stay within the protective zone. This means that you should have a seatbelt on at all times. Stay on the seat.

5.    Ensure Proper Maintenance

Tractors require different types of maintenance. Every operator must have a checklist on hand. The tasks include maintenance of all safety devices, such as brakes, guards, signals, lights, and hazard decals.

6.    Prevent Trips and Falls

Take all the necessary precautions, and do not hurry. Handholds and steps are mandatory. You should also add procedures for mounting and dismounting using three points. Slips and falls may have tragic consequences.

7.    Prevent Side Rollovers

To do this, you need a good understanding of gravity and its center. Learn about the centrifugal force, which affects the tractor on hills and slopes.

8.    Prevent Rear Overturns

This requires understanding the principles of physics and mechanics — namely, rear-axle torque and its speed. If you need to hitch, do this only to the drawbar.

9.    Always Use PTO Guards

If any implement is missing a PTO guard, do not use it. This rule has no exceptions.

10.    Avoid Roadway Vehicles

When on the road, use reflective emblems, signals, and lights. Choose off-peak times. When possible, pull off and let the other vehicles pass.

To Conclude

Tractors are powerful workhorses, but they can also be dangerous. These 10 rules will prevent the most common sources of injuries and fatalities on a farm. Stay safe!