1. Mounting and Dismounting
Mounting and dismounting is a common action that often results in injury for many farmers. This is an important tip; always mount and dismount your tractor from the left side in order to avoid bumping the controls. This will keep you, your tractor, and anything in its path safe. Unintentionally bumping into the steering wheel or other dashboard controls could lead to catastrophic results, as the tractor will begin to execute actions without your direction. The easiest way to avoid all of the right side controls is to avoid the right side altogether until you are safely in your tractor and ready to work!
Just like in a car, seatbelts are a very important safety feature on a tractor! When you get in your tractor, you should always make sure the first thing you do is buckle up (yes, even before turning the tractor on). The seatbelt should always be fitted with a roll-over protective structure (ROPS). Proper use of seatbelts is a large component of effective tractor safety, and shouldn’t be overlooked by farmers.
3. Always follow procedures
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious isn’t easy to remember. When using a tractor, you should always follow safe maintenance as well as have up-to-date maintenance scheduled. You should also always use the correct jacking procedures if you are performing your own maintenance on the tractor! Be sure to read through the owner’s and operator’s manuals for your machines to learn everything you can about your machines, how they run, and where they have the potential for danger. These may seem like simple things, but failing to follow the proper maintenance and safety procedures could injure yourself or your equipment.
4. The Operator
The operator of the tractor is the most at risk when using heavy machinery. Some simple protective tips: always buckle up when using your tractor, wear protective hearing gear, and remove starter keys if the tractor is not in use. Going over a mental checklist using these tips and making sure you are doing these simple, yet effective, tips are important to ensure the safety of the operator is promised! Similarly important for the operator of a tractor, or any piece of heavy machinery is a sober mind. Being free from any lingering effects of alcohol or prescribed medications is imperative for safe and effective tractor operation.
5. Avoiding injury
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid injuries while using your tractor. Firstly, always check that your seat is adjusted to the person operating the tractor. Also, ensure you dismount around every hour to do something active to avoid strain and stiffness later on, and dismount by climbing down (not jumping). By not taking a break to get your blood flowing, you’ll increase the risk of adverse health effects from extended periods of sitting. Taking breaks will also keep your mind focused on the task at hand. These steps can help you to avoid becoming injured while using your machinery and promote a healthier lifestyle for any farmer.
All information used in this article was gathered from the USDA Agricultural Research Service page on tractor safety. For more information visit their site.