Monday, 19 October 2009

Farm Tractor Safety...Don't Risk Your Neck!

Recently Jason a member of the Hybrids Discussion Group had a VERY LUCKY ESCAPE. Jason is an experienced dairy farmer on a steep hill farm. He has years of experience in driving tractors on the hills. Fortunately he lived to tell the tale to the Discussion Group last week.
Lets set the scene:-
He was spreading dirty water/manure. It was a dry day on a dry soil/pasture. The steepest part of the paddock had already been completed. In fact the paddock where the accident happened was relatively flat. The paddock surface was smooth.
The tank suddenly rolled over taking the tractor with it. As it happened the tractor didn't actually roll.....but as you can see from the photos it ended up on it's nose! The tank was baffled to prevent too much movement of the fluid. The pressure on the lower slurry tank tyres was extreme. The lid on the tank was the only thing stopping a very serious accident.
Damage to Jason was a minor head cut (lots of blood!) & there was a minor dent in the slurry tank. Thank goodness!
So what went all happened in seconds!
The Discussion Group believe the Slurry tank was too big for the tractor & the centre of gravity of the tank was too high.
The rear wheels of the tractor could be wider to create greater stability. (Insurance is replacing the tank with one more suited to the hills...with a lower centre of gravity)
On Jason's farm it maybe better to look at gravity fed dirty water transport rather than with tractors & slurry tanks.
Farms are dangerous work places & safety is an absolute MUST. Tractor accidents happen all too often on farms. In my experience where a fatal accident happens on a farm it is rare for that family to continue farming.
It is a gruesome experience for any farmers & their families. Check the safety of all farm vehicles. Is there a safer better way of doing a job? Get rid of the 'It will never happen to me' attitude.
Organise tractor safety training for ALL staff including yourself.
Never let children on a tractor. Be alert & drive safely!
Let Jason's lucky day be a warning to everyone!

1 comment:

  1. This model of Hi-Spec with the tyres cut into the curvature of the tank seem to be particularly prone to tipping. Wheelbase is too narrow giving a centre of gravity which swings outside the wheelbase too easily on slopes