following script can be used to deliver a 15-minute training
session to employees. It would be a good idea to make the
presentation while standing in front of a ROPS-equipped tractor.
You can point out hazards and safety features on the machine.
The text emphasizes the most important points related to tractor
rollover prevention. It is suggested that you try to stay
strictly on topic. Obviously, you will need to be prepared
to answer questions.
TO EMPHASIZE :
control of tractor under all operating conditions.
hitch higher than drawbar height
fasten the seatbelt when operating a tractor equipped
with rollover protection.
aware of the danger
overturns-both sideways rollovers and backward "flips"-are
likely to result in death if the operator is not protected
by a rollover protective structure (or ROPS).
tractor has a high center of gravity, compared with a passenger
car or pickup truck. This makes them relatively top heavy,
and more prone to tipping over.
in the case of 2-wheel-drive tractors, the back half of
the machine accounts for more than two-thirds of the weight.
a tractor's rear drive wheels can't turn, the machine will
want to turn on its axle when power is engaged. Think about
this one fact: it can take less than one second for a tractor
to reach the "point of no return" in a backwards flip after
the front wheels leave the ground!
Always remember these two key points:
quick, high speed turns upset tractors
attachment like a raised front loader increases a tractor's
center of gravity, making it even more "tippy".
brake pedals together before driving at high speed. Application
of uneven brake pressure can literally force a tractor to
your tractor under control at all times and under all conditions.
Obstructions such as rocks and stumps, or depressions such
as dead furrows and pot holes could cause a tractor to roll,
particularly if the machine is traveling too fast.
let a tractor "bounce"-this causes loss of steering control.
heavy loads and equipment at safe speeds. A wagon that is
fishtailing could throw the towing tractor out of control.
Try to avoid quick stops, because the heavy load could push
the tractor into a skid, and possible rollover.
down before turning! Quick, short turns at high speed overturn
engine "braking" when going downhill. A runaway tractor-and
particularly one towing a load-often tip over. Shift to
a lower gear before starting downhill. Make sure that you
don't use a speed range that allows the tractor to "freewheel".
crossing steep slopes, if possible. Always turn downhill
if stability becomes uncertain on a slope.
at least as far away from ditches and streams as the banks
are deep. Any closer, and the tractor's weight could cause
the bank to shear
Take extra care with loader tractors. A raised, loaded
bucket increases the center of gravity, thereby making the
tractor more subject to rollover. Keep the loader bucket
as low as possible when turning or transporting. Watch carefully
for obstructions or depressions. Avoid quick stops, starts,
hitch a towed load higher than the tractor drawbar. Hitching
too high is major cause of rearward tractor flips.
chassis weights can be used to counterbalance rear-mounted
implements and heavy drawbar loads.
start forward motion slowly. Gunning the engine and jerking
your foot off the clutch is one of the surest ways to flip
down a grade is risky. If brakes are applied, the tractor
could rotate around the rear axle and tip over backward.
The faster the speed and the steeper the slope, the greater
the potential for flipping. If you have to back down a steep
grade, do it slowly in a low gear. That should let you stay
off the brakes. Whenever possible, back tractors
up steep slopes, and come down forward.
your tractor starts rolling backward down a steep grade
with the clutch disengaged. Engaging the clutch is much
the same as applying the brakes in this situation-a backward
flip could result. It's safer to let the tractor roll to
the bottom of the slope without applying the brakes or engaging
the clutch. Try not to get into this dilemma in the first
drive around ditches. Never try to cross them. It is only
safe to back a tractor out if the drive wheels get
lodged in a ditch.
your tractor out if it gets stuck in the mud. Never, every
put boards or logs in front of the drive wheels! This practice
has been responsible for a number of backward tips.
A majority of farm tractors are now fitted with rollover
protective structures. ROPS cabs and frames are designed to
minimize injury potential in the event of a rollover.
It is critical
for an operator to securely fasten the
seatbelt in a ROPS-equipped tractor. It is the belt that holds
you within the protected zone should a rollover occur.
However, do not
wear a seatbelt if your tractor doesn't
have a ROPS. On an open tractor, the belt would eliminate any
chance of being thrown clear in the event of an overturn.
Drivers must be alert at all times
As you can see, there is plenty to remember when it comes to
avoiding tractor upsets. Operators have to be alert at all times,
and maintain complete control of their machines. If you are
ill, over-tired, or on medication, you have no business driving
a farm tractor.
Are there any questions?
Finally, let's take a moment to review some of the "Do's" and
"Don'ts" of tractor rollover prevention.
the seatbelt before starting a ROPS-equipped tractor.
brake pedals together before high speed travel
maintain full control of a tractor.
downhill if stability becomes uncertain on sloping
a seatbelt when driving a tractor that is not fitted
short, quick, high speed turns.
any distance with a loader bucket.
apply the brakes when backing down a slope.
The information and recommendations contained in this publication
are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary
expert opinion on the subject material. The Farm Safety Association
Inc. does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of
subject material, nor can it accept responsibility for health
and safety recommendations that may have been omitted due
to particular and exceptional conditions and circumstances.
Copyright © 2002
Farm Safety Association Inc.
22-340 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7K6 (519) 823-5600.
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.