Preventing Tractor Rollovers
One of the biggest factors that accounts for tractor deaths each year is tractor rollovers. Whether you are working with a new tractor or a used tractor, being well-versed on your machine and manual as well as being aware of your surroundings can greatly reduce the risk of your tractor rolling over. Also, making sure your tractor is in good working condition will help eliminate the risk of a rollover. It is recommended that you have an authorized tractor dealer do a full inspection and tune up on both new tractors and used tractors prior to the start of the season. Below are some tips that will help keep you safe while operating your tractor this season.
There are two types of tractor rollovers that can occur: a rear rollover, which occurs when the tractor flips backwards, and a sideways rollover. A rear roll over can happen in a number of situations. When starting a forward motion, ALWAYS begin moving slowly. Revving the engine and quickly releasing the clutch is one of the main ways that can cause a tractor to flip backwards. Driving on steep hills can also cause a tractor to flip rearward. If you have the smallest hunch of danger, stop and avoid going any further. When towing, always make sure that the towed load is hitched below the drawbar. If you are towing a heavy load, front chassis weights can be applied to the tractor to help counter balance the weight. Backing down a steep hill is also very risky. The more incline the hill has and the faster you go greatly increase the risk of your tractor flipping over backwards, especially when brakes are applied.
If you find yourself in a situation where your tractor begins rolling backwards down a steep hill and your clutch is disengaged, the safest thing you can do is just let it continue to roll backwards. If you use your clutch, it is similar to using your brakes which could result in a rear tractor flip. If your tractor ever gets hung up in mud, always back your tractor out. NEVER lay boards or logs down in front of your drive tires, as this has resulted in numerous backward flips.
Sideways overturns can also happen in many situations. One thing to always remember is that tractors do not do well with quick, high speed turns. When driving at high speeds, always make sure that your brake pedals are locked as uneven brake pressure can cause your tractor to flip sideways. While it may seem obvious to always have your tractor under control, things like large rocks, tree stumps or holes in the ground could cause your tractor to take a side roll. This is especially true if you are traveling at a higher speed. When towing heavy loads, always drive at a safe speed. A fishtailing load could cause your tractor to lose control and flip.
When traveling next to ditches, streams and ponds, always keep a safe distance. If your tires get too close to the edge, they could slip down the slope causing your tractor to quickly flip sideways. It is never a good idea to try to drive your tractor along a steep graded hill or ditch. When performing a turn, make sure to always turn downhill if you are unsure that your tractor will remain stable.
By following these tips, you will vastly reduce your risk of a tractor rollover this season. If you are ever unsure about a situation or about your tractor, contact an authorized tractor dealership for help.
At Koenig Equipment, it is a priority of ours to provide you with a quality machine that keeps you safe as you use it. Contact us today with any questions or concerns that you may have.