Tractor Safety Tips

Learn the basics of tractor safety so you can spend your free time on your horse, not in the emergency room.

Buying a tractor to help with your horse barn chores is a good idea. Using it unsafely is a bad idea. A very, very bad idea.

Like a car, a tractor is a large, heavy, motorized vehicle. And while you probably won’t get your tractor up to traffic ticket speed, you can still get seriously hurt (or worse) in a tractor accident.

Falls and runovers are a leading cause of serious agricultural injuries. Keep the following hazards in mind when operating your tractor.

Most new tractors have safety start systems that do not allow the tractor to start in gear without depressing the clutch. NEVER bypass these systems. When jump starting a tractor, always connect the cables to the battery and not the starter. Jumping through the starter disengages the safety start system. The tractor can lunge forward or backward, causing a runover.

No passengers. Sudden stops, bumps and low hanging branches can throw a passenger off. There is a reason there is
only one seat on a tractor!

Slow down on rough or unfamiliar ground. If you’re entering an unfamiliar field, turn off the tractor and walk the land. Mark any objects that may be hidden by tall grass or brush. A roll of fluorescent landscaping tape works great for this.

Do not try to mount or dismount a moving tractor.
Keep decks uncluttered, clean and dry. Wear non-slip shoes.
Always shut off the engine and apply the parking brake before dismounting.
Always start the tractor from the operator’s seat. Keep surrounding areas clear of people and pets.
Maintain your equipment in top working order.

Install a ROPS (Roll Over Protective Structure) and wear your seat belt. If your tractor doesn’t have ROPS, do NOT wear a seat belt.

Never ride on implements, especially the tongue.

Your tractor is an essential piece of farm equipment. Always keep tractor safety in mind when you are starting, riding or maintaining your tractor. Unsafe or improper use results in many serious agricultural accidents every year. Ride safely!

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