Safe to Operate: Tractor Safety Checklist

June 15, 2015

Accident prevention must be a top priority on farms today, especially when operating machinery like farm tractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 750 farm workers are accidentally killed each year, and more than half of these fatalities are tractor related.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of staying alert and following your equipment manufacturer’s guidelines for safe operation,” says Dan Danford, Case IH PR & Sponsorships Manager. “Case IH agricultural equipment is designed and built with safety in mind, but in the end it’s up to the operator to ensure the equipment is in good condition and utilized safely.”

Danford and his teammates at Case IH strive to prevent accidents and injuries related to tractor use. “Our goal is zero on-farm fatalities. We can reach this goal by working together to ensure safe practices.”

What measures do you take to ensure your tractors and other equipment are safe to operate? Take control of your own safety by performing regular tractor inspections. The following tractor safety checklist, provided by the AgriLife Extension of the Texas A&M System, can help you determine whether your tractor is in proper condition for operation.

1. Roll-over Protection Structure (ROPS). Is the tractor equipped with a ROPS in good condition?
2. Guards/Shields. Are guards and shields including the master Power Take-Off (PTO) shield in place and securely fastened?
3. Seat safety switch. Is the seat safety switch connected and functional to prevent the tractor from being “jumped started” from the ground?
4. Brake system. Are the brakes properly adjusted and the fluid level correct?
5. Tire pressure. Is the air pressure in each tire appropriate according to the tire manufacturer’s recommendations?
6. Lights/signals. Are all headlights, flashers, and brake lights working correctly, clean, and visible to other drivers?
7. Hydraulic system. Are all hydraulic hoses and connections free from leaks and hydraulic levels correct?
8. Steering system. Does the tractor steer and react properly when negotiating turns and roading? Is the steering fluid level correct?
9. Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem. Does the tractor have a clean SMV emblem located at the rear of the tractor visible by other drivers?
10. Cleanliness. Are the steps and cab area free from mud, dirt, ice, oil, or any other combustible object or fluid?
11. Fire extinguisher. Is the tractor equipped with at least one 10-pound fire extinguisher securely fastened inside the cab or operator’s station?
12. First aid kit. Is the tractor equipped with a first aid kit securely fastened inside the cab or operator’s station?

Florida Farm Bureau members save $500 per unit on Case IH Maxxum®  tractors, Farmall® C and U series utility and 100A series tractors, self-propelled windrowers and large square balers. A $300 per unit incentive is available for Case IH compact Farmall® B and C series tractors, Case IH Scout® utility vehicles and other hay tools, including round balers, small square balers, disc mower conditioners and sickle mower conditioners. Combine the Farm Bureau incentive with other discounts, promotions, rebates, or offers that may be available from Case IH or a Case IH dealer. Case IH and your Farm Bureau are working together to make your off-road experience both safe and economical.