Rider Safety Series, Part 4: Agricultural
In this final part of our Rider Safety Series, we will be focusing on Agricultural equipment, primarily farm tractors. Each year, there are many injuries and fatalities that occur due to misuse of farm equipment. These injuries and fatalities wouldn’t occur if everyone involved not only knew standard safety practices, but also actively practiced them. We have compiled some resources in this article in order to do our part in informing our customers of proper safety procedures to observe while operating farm equipment, specifically farm tractors. The following ’10 Commandments of Tractor Safety’ come from the Kubota Tractor Corporation, and deal with many common safety practices that can drastically reduce the risk of injury or death when operating a farm tractor.
- Know your tractor, its implements and how they work. Please read and understand the Operator’s Manual(s) before operating the equipment. Also, keep your equipment in good condition.
- Use ROPS and seat belt whenever and wherever applicable. If your tractor has a foldable ROPS, fold it down only when absolutely necessary and fold it up and lock it again as soon as possible. Do not wear the seat belt when the ROPS is folded. Most tractor fatalities are caused by overturns.*
- Be familiar with your terrain and work area. Walk the area first to identify any debris or obstacles that could hinder your ability to drive safely. Use special caution on slopes, slow down for all turns and stay off the highway whenever possible.
- Never start an engine in a closed shed or garage. Exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly.
- Always keep your PTO properly shielded. Make it a habit to walk around your tractor and PTO driven implement, never over, through or between the tractor and implement, particularly if either is running. The PTO rotates with enough speed and strength to kill you.
- Keep your hitches low and always on the drawbar. Otherwise, your tractor might flip over backwards.
- Never get off a moving tractor or leave it with its engine running. Shut it down before leaving the seat. A runaway tractor can be extremely dangerous.
- Never refuel while the engine is running or hot. Additionally, do not add coolant to the radiator while the engine is hot; hot coolant can erupt and scald.
- Keep all children off and away from your tractor and its implements at all times. Children are generally attracted to tractors and the work they do. However, a tractor’s work is not child’s play. Remember, a child’s disappointment is fleeting, while your memory of his or her injury or death resulting from riding the tractor with you, or being too close, will last a lifetime.
- Never be in a hurry or take chances about anything you do with your tractor. Think safety first, then take your time and do it right.
Kubota’s full ‘Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety’ guide can be found on Kubota’s website.
For your Agricultural needs, check out the following tires we offer here at OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc.:
- Harvest Master – The Harvest Master tire is a soil tillage, agricultural and lawn and garden tire, suitable for small tractors, implement machinery, compact loaders and mowers. It is designed to improve traction, while its wider footprint ensures stability. The large footprint also provides flotation to minimize damage to field crops. Buy a set today!
- Traction Master – The OTR Traction Master is an agricultural tire as well as a lawn and garden tire. While it is known for its excellent traction provided by its aggressive R1 design, it also features a compounded design for long wear, a deep lug for even better traction, and overlapping elements for a smooth ride. Pick up a set today!
Make sure to visit the Georgia Farm Bureau’s safety website for more information on general farm safety! They cover topics such as slow moving vehicles, storm safety, harvest safety, and more.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has a helpful one page tractor safety guide and inspection checklist on their website. Be sure to check it out! June is also National Safety Month. Check out the NSC’s special event page to find out how you can help reduce injury and death no matter whether you are at work, on the road, or at home!
The Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations has a very helpful website set up just for topics relating to farm safety. Not only does it cover tractor safety in detail, but it also has sections on equipment safety, grain handling, livestock care, and more. Be sure to visit their website!
The Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations has also compiled a very helpful video dealing with ATV and Tractor safety. Watch it below!