Tractor Safety

Tractor Safety is no Accident. Practicing tractor safety can prevent many unwanted injuries.

| April/May 2005

  • Tractors
    Tractors that do not have a safety roll bar are potentially deadly. Without one, the tractor shown here would have surely crushed this mannequin.
    Photo courtesy Pennsylvania State University
  • Operating A Tractor
    Tractors that do not have a safety roll bar are potentially deadly. Without one, the tractor shown here would have surely crushed this mannequin.
    Photo courtesy Scott Hollis
  • Tractor Safety
    The standard roll bar on the New Holland tractor folds down, making it ideal for low-clearance spaces.
    Photo courtesy Scott Hollis
  • 209-098-01i3.jpg
    It's important to consider the height of your tractor with a roll bar before purchasing one. The roll bar shown above is a tight fit for the tractor in the author's barn.
    Melanie Devault

  • Tractors
  • Operating A Tractor
  • Tractor Safety
  • 209-098-01i3.jpg

My family and I live on a 20-acre Pennsylvania farm. Along the north side of our farmstead by the state highway, there are eight single-family homes. Whenever I mow along the north property line and one of the neighbors, their children, grandchildren or pets walks into the nearest yard, I immediately steer my tractor the other way.

“Don’t mean to be unsociable,” I explain later. “Just don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

The neighbors all say they appreciate my concern for their safety. But it is obvious from their expressions that they don’t quite understand what I’m talking about. After all, what could possibly be dangerous about a certified organic farmer tidying up his land with an old tractor and a brush mower on a beautiful summer afternoon?

Plenty. The blade tips on my mower move as fast as 200 mph. A rock thrown by the blades can cause severe injury or even death if it hits a bystander. But the neighbors don’t understand these risks. They weren’t sitting on my antique Ford 2N tractor when my 5-foot rotary mower struck a rock the size of a bowling ball. The rock went bouncing about 100 feet down the slope like it had been shot out of a cannon. A chunk of the same rock flew in the opposite direction, ricocheting off the tractor and hitting me in the lower back

That was nearly 20 years ago and long before I picked up most of the rocks in the east field. But I still remember that incident every time I mow behind Harold Schantz’s house. His big, sliding-glass doors are only about 30 feet from the property line, making them an easy target. That’s why I always raise the mower deck at least a few inches whenever I mow there. If the grass is especially tall, I walk through it first just to make sure there are no rocks, glass bottles or other hidden dangers.

Tractors make country life easier, more enjoyable and productive, but they also make it more dangerous. One person dies in a tractor accident nearly every day in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Roll-overs are the leading cause — in the blink of an eye, tractors can flip over backwards or topple sideways and crush the driver. Raising a front-end loader higher than what is recommended is a common hazard, but tractors with a tricycle-type front end or narrow wheelbase overturn most easily and require even more cautious attention than a standard tractor.

1/27/2014 2:26:20 AM

Its a nice story about the experience of driving the tractor and the accident of tractor. There are many type of accident happen in many places with variety type of vehicles but for avoiding the accident how can we follow the safety is very important. In tractor there are rarely accident happen, in every vehicle there are some safety precaution fixed for avoiding the safety.

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