The hustle of harvest is nearly upon us, and farmers and
ranchers across the country will be working at full-speed to get important work
done. Harvest undoubtedly requires a speedy execution, which increases the risk
of injury for tractor operators. This harvest season, Kubota Tractor
Corporation is reminding all tractor and heavy equipment users to slow down and
invest the time to create safe operating habits in observance of the National
Education Center for Agriculture’s “National Farm and Safety Health Week,”
September 16 – 22, 2012.
“At Kubota, safety is a top priority and this harvest we are
encouraging all those who operate tractors and heavy equipment to take a step
back and talk to the entire family about slowing down for safety,” said Greg
Embury, vice president of sales and marketing, Kubota Tractor Corporation.
“There’s no such thing as talking ‘too much’ about safety with your family.
These conversations could prevent a serious injury or fatality due to an
Safety Starts with Use of a Rollover Protective Structure
According to the National Safety Council, if all tractors
were equipped with a ROPS and a safety belt, about 350 lives would be saved each
year, as most tractor fatalities are caused by overturns. Make sure your
tractor – old and new – has a fully operational ROPS. Along with a fastened
seatbelt, ROPS provides a protective zone around the operator, which proves to
be highly effective in preventing serious injury and death due to tractor
rollovers. 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.
Although Kubota strongly recommends the use of ROPS and seatbelts in almost all
applications, do not wear the seatbelt when the ROPS is folded.
For owners of older model Kubota tractors, Kubota offers
information about ROPS and seatbelt installation on the www.kubota.com safety tab, which allows owners to
submit their tractor’s model and serial number for eligible models to obtain
retrofit pricing from their local Kubota dealer. Major tractor manufacturers
have special programs where a ROPS can be obtained for most tractors manufactured
since 1970. To date, Kubota dealers throughout the country have installed more
than 10,000 retrofits.
Take Extra Caution When Operating a Power Take-Off Shaft
During the harvest season, a majority of equipment users
will operate attachments using a PTO. A PTO is an effective means of
transferring power from the engine of a tractor to the implement and
attachments, but it is also one of the most exposed, powerful parts of a
tractor, which is why extra caution is necessary.
The number-one rule is to always read the appropriate
implement and attachment operator’s manual for guidelines and safety
instructions. Tractor operators should also make it a habit to walk around the
tractor and PTO driven implement – never walk over, through or between the tractor
and implement, particularly if either is running. The PTO rotates with enough
speed and strength to kill you.
Safety: “A Family Affair”
As an operator, it is important to follow safety guidelines
closely. It is also imperative to share safety tips with the entire family.
Kubota offers the following tips to help equipment owners and operators start
the safety conversation with the whole family:
- Remind your kids to stop, look and listen when playing
outside, especially on the farm. It is very important that children are always
aware of their surroundings and understand they should never stand around or
behind a tractor, even if it is not moving.
- Express to your children that tractors are not toys and
they should only be operated by adults who are thoroughly familiar with the
equipment. Children are generally attracted to tractors and the work they do.
However, a tractor's work is not child's play.
- Be honest, and clear with your kids, letting them know
farm equipment is not safe to ride on, even when an adult is present. The
tractor only has one seat and it is intended for the operator. Remind them to
just say “no” if someone offers them a ride.
- Encourage your kids to become a “Safety First Sherriff.”
Empower your children and educate them on safety precautions like the use of
ROPS, seatbelts and why it is so important to take extra precaution with PTOs.
This knowledge will allow your kids to remind the whole family to make safety a
Another tool for starting the safety conversation with
children is getting them involved in Kubota’s Farm Safety Coloring Contest. Now
through Oct. 1, 2012, families of children 12 and under can download a page
from Kubota’s “Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety” coloring book to color and
send it in for a chance to win prizes. Visit the safety tab on www.kubota.com for instructions on how to enter,
and for more safety information, including Kubota’s “Ten Commandments of
Tractor Safety” brochure and Kubota’s “Hazard Hunt” game.
Kubota Tractor Corporation, Torrance,
Calif., is the U.S. marketer and distributor of
Kubota-branded equipment, including a complete line of tractors up to 118 PTO
hp, performance-matched implements, compact and utility-class construction
equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, commercial turf products and
utility vehicles. For product literature or dealer locations, contact Kubota
Tractor Corporation at 3401 Del
Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503,
(888) 4-KUBOTA [(888) 458-2682], Ext. 900, or visit www.kubota.com.
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