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Compact Tractor Safety Jesse LaPrade Extension Environmental and Safety Specialist The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University.

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Presentation on theme: "Compact Tractor Safety Jesse LaPrade Extension Environmental and Safety Specialist The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Compact Tractor Safety Jesse LaPrade Extension Environmental and Safety Specialist The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University

2 Compact Tractor Safety A compact tractor is between 20 and 40 horsepower. Tractor safety is important because tractor incidents in agriculture result in more than 300 fatalities each year nationwide and from 4 to 8 in Alabama. Tractor operations result in more injuries and fatalities than any other single agricultural operation in every state in the United States. The majority of these incidents can be avoided. Overturns are the number one cause of tractor fatalities in the United States. and more than half of all recorded in Alabama.

3 Categories of tractor-related injuries and fatalities: 1. Overturns—To one side and front to back 2. Runovers—By a tractor or implements 3. Falls 4. Hitching errors 5. Power take-off (PTO) entanglements 6. Collisions with motor vehicles How each category can be avoided: 1.Overturns are the number one cause of tractor fatalities in the U.S. and more than half of all recorded in Alabama.

4 Rollover Protection Structures A ROPS will prevent most injuries that result in tractor upsets. There are three types of ROPS: 1.Two-post ROPS 2.Foldable ROPS to work in special applications, greenhouse, low-growing trees, etc. 3.ROPS cab

5 ROPS Saves Lives! John Deere designed ROPS in the 1960s. Tractors manufactured after October 1976 must be equipped with ROPS and a seat belt. A rollover without ROPS results in a 25 percent survival rate of the tractor operator. A rollover with ROPS and seatbelt results in a 95 percent chance of no injury to the operator. Most tractors can be equipped with ROPS as an aftermarket accommodation. Get a list of ROPS manufacturers and tractors their products fit by calling the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshville, Wisconsin at (800) or access the guide online at

6 Rollovers Can Kill! Upsets happen fast. In a backwards tip, the tractor can be upside down in less than 1.50 seconds and can reach “the point of no return” in 0.75 second. A rollover to one side can occur in less than 1.0 second. Add the time it takes to push in the clutch and you can see why rollovers happen so frequently. Causes of rollover to the rear (front to back): * Leverage on the drawbar or hitch * Rear-axle torque Centrifugal force Gravity

7 How to Prevent Rollovers Preventing rollovers to the rear: 1.Hitch loads only to the drawbar. Keep the drawbar at or below the rear wheel axle. 2.Use front end weights. 3.Start forward motion slowly. 4.Change speeds gradually. 5.Go up hills in reverse and go forward down hills. Sudden braking or clutching while backing down a hill can cause an upset. Pulling heavy loads uphill can result in an upset. 6.Tractors stuck in mud should be backed out to avoid an upset.

8 Side Rollovers Are More Common Causes of rollovers to the side: Leverage on the drawbar or hitch Real axle torque * Centrifugal force * Gravity Preventing rollovers to the side: 1.Choose as wide a rear wheelbase as possible. 2.Turn slowly and turn wide (when practical).

9 Additional Safety Tips 1.Watch for holes and bumps in the terrain. 2.Lock brake coupler when transporting a tractor (at higher speeds). 3.Stay back from a ditch or ravine the same distance as the depth of the ditch. 4.Allow NO RIDERS on tractors or implements at any time. 5.Never start a tractor by bypassing (shorting across starter terminals). 6.Never approach an operating tractor. 7.Keep children away from tractor and implements at all times.

10 Additional Safety Tips 8.Keep the approach steps and platform clean and dry to avoid a fall. 9.Do not store anything on the steps or platform. 10.Use handrails or handholds. 11.Face the tractor when mounting or dismounting. 12.Never jump from the tractor. 13.Be sure tractor is fully stopped and the brakes locked on, the engine off, and key removed before dismounting. 14.Only operate the tractor from the seat.

11 Implement Hitching Safety 1.Never allow a helper that is assisting with implement hookup to stand between the tractor and the implement when backing toward the implement. Helpers should stand to the side. The tractor operator should align the hitch, put the tractor in park or forward gear before the helper steps in and makes the attachment. 2.Do not push or pull the tractor when not in the tractor driver’s seat. 3.Beware of load sensing three-point hitches. Set the control lever to maintain a set hitch height and not for load sensing, or attaching an implement may cause the hitch arms to raise unexpectedly. Check your operator’s manual.

12 Beware of the PTO! Power Take-off Entanglements: When shields become damaged, modified, or discarded, it poses a major safety hazard. –Keep all PTO shields in place and in good condition. –Check that integral shields can rotate freely when power is shut off. –Never step across a rotating power shaft. Safety devices could malfunction. –Wear snug fitting clothing and short or restrained hair, no necklaces or earrings, dangling scarfs, drawstrings, or anything that can catch on rotating components.

13 Public Highway Safety Transporting Equipment on Public Highways: –Must have a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign clearly visible on the rear of the tractor and/or implement between your load and the motorist. –See the ALFA Web site for full regulations in transporting tractors and implements on public highways. –Consult “Safe Tractor Operations,” a fact sheet on the Web at for additional tractor considerations.www.aces.edu/farmsafety


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