Tractor Safety, Part 2 (Public Service Announcement)

With summer fast approaching, the atmosphere on most farms is becoming more and more hectic. Often times it is safety that gets overlooked during the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Now is the perfect time to make sure your safety measures are as good as possible. One way to ensure this is to check your tractor over to make certain it is safe. Here are some helpful guidelines to use when you check over your tractor's safety.

  • Make sure the wheels of our tractor are set as wide as possible for a particular job. The broader the wheel base, the less likely it will be that the tractor will turn over.
  • Make sure that your tractor is matched to its load. Many fatalities have been caused by the loss of control of a tractor that was going down hill with a heavy load. Even on level ground, the load should be no more than two times as heavy as the tractor.
  • Make sure that your tractor's steering and braking mechanisms, gauges, and lights are working properly.
  • Make sure you check all fluid levels, fan belts, tire pressures, and hydraulic lines, and check for fluid leaks before every use.
  • Be sure to have a slow moving vehicle emblem in good condition mounted on the rear of the tractor. The tractor and towed implements should also be outfitted with the appropriate reflectors and lights. These things are a must, and will help protect your from a rear end collision.
  • Review safety procedures in your manual regularly. Your operator's manual is the best safety guide you have, so make good use of it. Give yourself a few days to get used to new equipment, and study the manual carefully.
  • Finally, no matter how much they beg, never let your small children ride with you on the tractor. One recent 20-year study of tractor fatalities found that in accidents involving an extra rider, 73 percent of the deaths were children under the age of 10. Don't let your child become a farm fatality statistic. Say no to tractor rides.

Marylee Hill, Agricultural Injury and Illness Nurse, NYCAMH.

This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326 - Ph# (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527 in the northeast. Publication date: 1994.

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