Formula for a Successful Tractor Rodeo
The tractor is involved in a high percentage of agricultural
injuries and deaths. A tractor rodeo is a great (and fun)
method to communicate the importance of safety. It can be
used to teach safety to youth as well as experienced, adult
What is a 'Tractor Rodeo'?
In a tractor rodeo, participants perform common equipment operations, such as driving tractors or hooking and unhooking equipment. The driving will be done on a course laid out by the instructors, and it will test precision, safety awareness, and attention to detail. Likewise, handling equipment will be a test of accurate execution of a task. (There is no time element; needless rushing to accomplish tasks is the source of many injuries.) A score sheet is used by judges to assess the performance of each participant.
The rodeo can last through a morning or afternoon, or it can be an all-day affair and include lunch and an awards ceremony. In addition to the activities, safety information can be built into the introductions, announcements, and event publications so that it is clear that safety is the bottom line of the day's activities. A special award for the safest driver is a good idea, in addition to best overall and best in various categories.
Participants can compete individually or as teams, perhaps based on their group affiliations.
of a Successful Tractor Rodeo
The following examples are taken from the materials developed by Lake and Orange County Extension offices over 20 years of conducting tractor rodeos.
The Lake-Orange County Tractor Rodeo is an all-day event which starts at 8 in the morning and ends around 3:30 in the afternoon. The schedule emphasizes education in the morning; the rodeo takes place after lunch.
is a sample program:
8:00 - 8:30 am -- Registration and Announcements
8:30 - 9:00 am -- Personal Safety
9:00 - 9:30 am -- Pesticide Safety
9:30 - 10:00 am -- Defensive Driving
10:00 - 10:30 am -- Break
10:30 - 11:00 am -- Safe Tractor Operation
11:00 - 11:30 am -- Be Careful, Hazardous Materials
11:30 - 12:00 pm -- What's for Lunch? (Food safety in the field)
12:00 - 1:00 pm -- Lunch
1:00 - 3:00 pm -- Rodeo
3:00 - 3:30 pm -- Awards Presentation
The Lake-Orange County rodeo includes three events. Individuals compete in only one event, but organizations have one representative in each event. The events are:
Event #1: Backing -- A trailer must be backed into a 'stall'. Once the tractor is in reverse, it must be kept in reverse.
Event#2: Hooking Up -- Back a supply truck up to a speed sprayer. Each contestant has to back 'blind' to hook up (that is, with no one spotting or assisting).
Event #3: Driving Course -- A course must be traveled at constant speed without knocking down the cones.
The 'stall' is an area of the course marked out with cones for the participant to back the trailer into.
Judges for the Lake-Orange County rodeo use a scorecard (see Table 1) to evaluate each participant's performance. A perfect score is zero, meaning that points are scored for omissions or errors. Participants are scored in five areas: Pre-Warm-Up Preparation, Engine Starting, Warm-Up and Clutch Operation, Driving, and Safety. A sample scorecard appears at the end of this publication.
and Clutch Operation
GRAND TOTAL (TRACTOR OPERATIONS)______
GRAND TOTAL _____
Specific judging areas and their point values are:
Failure to check water (7 points for each infraction)
2. Failure to check oil (7 points for each infraction)
3. Failure to check fuel (7 points for each infraction)
Warm-Up and Clutch Operation
The low score wins.
For more information about tractor safety, visit the Florida AgSafe Network Web site:
The following publications are available at your county Extension office and at the EDIS Web site, <http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu>. (IFAS Publication Numbers are in parentheses after the titles. The second set of parentheses contains the Web address at which the publication can be viewed.)
Publication #: AE308
1. This document
, one of a series of the Agricultural and Biological
Engineering Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of
Florida. Supported in part by the NIOSH Deep-South Center
for Occupational Health and Safety, University of South Florida,
Tampa, Florida. First published September 2001. Please visit
the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Carol J. Lehtola, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Extension Agricultural Safety Specialist, and Charles M. Brown, Assistant Coordinator for Agricultural Safety and Health, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean.
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