Tractors have contributed immeasurably to farm productivity and helped make it possible for farmers to feed themselves and many others. But to continue doing so, a farmer must operate tractors safely.
Before Using a Tractor
Know the tractor and how to use it safely. Review the safety precautions in the operator’s manual regularly. Observe and follow the instructions contained on decals attached to tractors.
Check the equipment before starting. Set the wheel treads as wide as practical and properly inflate the tires. Make sure guarding is in place and working. Repair hydraulic leaks and tighten loose fittings. Equalize the brakes so that the tractor will not pull to one side. Have properly charged fire extinguishers of the right type and size on tractors and other self-propelled equipment. Make sure all drivers are competent and wear their seat belts if the tractors are equipped with ROPS (roll-over protective structures). Make sure there is clear visibility from all sides and all lights are visible and working.
Install safety equipment on tractors. Outfit each tractor with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit. Securely fasten these items to the tractor.
Keep safety signs clean and free from obstruction material. Replace damaged or missing safety signs with new ones.
Never jump from a moving tractor or turn your back in the tractor with its engine running. If the tractor starts to run over you, you may not be able to stop it.
Starting the Tractor
After having made a check of the tractor, fastening the seat belt and adjusting the mirrors, you are ready to start the tractor. Make sure there is nothing in the tractor’s intended path. Start the tractor and begin work.
If a vehicle needs to be jump-started, there is something wrong. Correct the malfunction as soon as possible to avoid loss of time and unsafe conditions.
When jump-starting a tractor, be sure to hook the positive terminal to positive terminal and the negative terminal to another part of the tractor. An operator should be properly located on the tractor when starting it. Never bypass-start a tractor.
No Riders Policy
Do not allow riders, particularly children. There is no safe place for anyone else either on the tractor itself or on any of its implements. Teach children to drive only when they have developed the maturity, size and strength to handle a tractor safely. There are tractor safety programs for youth (14 years and older) and inexperienced operators in Maine. Call your county Extension office or vocational agriculture program for information.
Training New Operators
Train new and inexperienced operators. Have them review the operator’s manual before operating the tractor. Teach the new operator to recognize hazards and know how to avoid them. Point out special hazards on the farm. Do not let them drive on public roads without a driver’s license.
Have a new tractor operator practice, without equipment attached, in a level field or a large, level yard. The trainer should start the tractor, demonstrating the procedure for the new operator. The trainer should drive the tractor around the yard, showing the student how each of the controls operate. The trainer should then walk near the tractor as the student drives it. The trainer can give instructions as the student drives.
|Install safety equipment on tractors. Outfit each tractor with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.|
After the new operator has learned to operate the tractor alone in a level area, the next step is to attach and operate the equipment. The new operator should gradually work into the more complex jobs of tractor operation.
Keeping the Tractor Chemical-Free
Before entering the cab, remove personal protective equipment (PPE) worn while handling and mixing chemicals. If the cab is a type that will not protect a person during product application, it may be best to continue wearing PPE.
These are other suggestions to keep the tractor cab chemical free:
Publication #: 2318
This Maine Farm Safety Fact Sheet is part of an educational fact sheet series produced by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For more information on farm safety, contact your county Extension office.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More