We want to help you understand how to operate your equipment more safely.
And as a quick aside --- we are here to help you purchase a new tractor and implements when the time is right.
Let’s get to it.
The importance of safety cannot be overstated.
All it takes is one incident to get seriously injured or perhaps result in a fatality.
So let’s jump into the 14 tractor safety tips...
Have a rollover protection system (ROPS). The safest tractor has a ROPS with an enclosed cab. The second safest tractor has a four-post ROPS. The third safest tractor has a two-post ROPS. New tractors come with ROPS.
Take preventive measures to avoid slips, trips, and falls. Slow down. Use handholds, steps, and three-point mounting/dismounting procedures.
Avoid rear overturns. Understand the principles of rear-axle torque and how quickly it can happen. Hitch only to the drawbar.
Keep PTO guards in place. Never use an implement missing a guard.
Match the operator and tractor. Consider a person’s size, experience, and decision-making ability relative to the size and sophistication of the tractor and the implements.
One person per tractor seat. A child is not safe on a tractor. Extra riders compromise the operator’s attention to detail and decision-making.
Stay protected. Stay on the seat and use the seat belt.
Good maintenance only. Your checklist should include brakes, guards, hazard decals, signals, lights, and all the other safety devices.
Avoid side rollovers. You must understand the principles of center of gravity and centrifugal force on slopes and hillsides.
Limit mixing tractors and roadway traffic. When possible, travel at off-peak times. If you must be on the road, use clean, highly reflective slow-moving vehicle emblems, turn signals, flashing lights and escort vehicles. When possible, pull off and let traffic pass. By motioning another driver to pass around your tractor and equipment, you assume responsibility for their actions.
Wear proper clothing. Loose-fitting clothing is easily caught in the parts of tractors and other equipment. Wear fitted pants, tuck in loose shirttails, and avoid wearing scarves. Protect your feet by wearing sturdy work shoes or boots with non-skid soles and steel toe caps. Heavy work gloves and safety glasses may also be useful when working with machinery.
Mount and dismount the tractor properly. Many tractor-related injuries occur from falling while mounting or dismounting the steps of the tractor. The steps should be used like the steps of a ladder. Either use two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet should be in contact at all times. Be sure that your pant cuffs or boot loops are clear of the pedals when you exit the tractor to prevent tripping or falling. Do not carry extra riders on heavy machinery unless it is equipped with a buddy seat.
Use front loaders properly. Front-end loaders are often misused by stretching their lifting capacity and inappropriate use. Adequate counter-balancing of a loader-equipped tractor is needed for safe lifting. When moving big round bales, it’s important to use front-end loaders equipped with grapple forks to help grip the bale and prevent it from rolling out of the bucket and down the arms of the loader toward the driver. Another front-loader option is a spear-type bale mover, mounted on either the front or rear of the tractor. Always keep the speed low when using the front-end loader and never lift people.
Check your surroundings. Make sure the area is clear. An unseen child or adult near the tractor is at risk of being run over. Children should not be permitted to play where tractors and other machinery are running. You should always drive tractors at a safe speed, especially near populated areas.
Hopefully, this brief article has helped you get a very basic understanding of how to safely operate your tractor.
For a slew of reading and video information about compact utility tractors, implements, and more rural living topics, check out our extensive information blog here.
If you need any further help or have any questions about tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.
If you are looking for old, vintage, classic, or new tractor parts, send us a part request.
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