4-H Working Safely on Tractors
Tractors play an important role on most farms,
and proper training and use of farm equipment is essential in keeping everyone healthy and safe. Working Safely on Tractors So who can or can’t use a tractor? Well, no one is allowed to drive a tractor unless they’re under strict supervision, or are cleared by a knowledgeable and experienced supervisor. You may have been around tractors your whole life, but that doesn’t mean you’re trained to use them. The first thing you need to do is read and follow the manual. Always use the steps or ladder to climb on. Face the machine while you climb, and keep three points of contact at all times. If the machine doesn’t have a stepper ladder, use the left side — that’s the one with the clutch. Using the right side is dangerous
because you could release the brake. Never jump or try to get on or off a moving tractor. That’s just super dangerous. So now let’s talk about a few driving hazards. The biggest driving hazard can be the terrain, so always look out for things such as stumps, large stones, irrigation pipes, ditches, mud, and large holes. And if you can’t remove a hazard, mark or flag it so you or someone else will see it next time. Hills and uneven surfaces are another huge hazard when it comes to operating tractors. It’s always best to drive straight up or down a slope — never on an angle. And avoid sharp downhill turns. Always slow down before making turns, and begin to apply the brakes before you turn the wheels.
And don’t speed. Another important safety feature of your tractor is the ROPS. She means the rollover protective structure. If the machine you’re using doesn’t have one, ask if you should be using that tractor. ROPS are mandatory in most situations and must be used with a seat belt. The idea is if the tractor were to roll or flip, the ROPS would keep the tractor from rolling on top of you. But you have to wear your seat belt
so you stay in your seat and protected. It’s like a roll bar in a race car. When operating a tractor with a bucket,
always travel with the bucket low. This will keep your centre of gravity low
and the tractor stable. If you’re towing an offset implement,
the implement should always be on the uphill side. Also, avoid sharp downhill turns. Never ride on a tractor if there isn’t a seat — no matter who tells you to — and don’t let anyone else do it either. It’s extremely dangerous. Tractors can also be crazy loud. You have to
remember to wear your hearing protection. If you’re 16 or older, and you have your driver’s licence, then you’re allowed on roads. If not, you can’t go on roads, so don’t. So that’s it. Now you’ve heard about a few of the hazards of operating a tractor. Proper training and use of farming equipment
is absolutely essential in keeping everyone
healthy and safe. Remember all these things and you’ll be well on your way to working safely on and around tractors. Thanks for watching. And if you have any questions, ask your 4-H leader.