Preventing Tractor Runover Incidents

Ag Safety and Health October 26, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Use the following format to cite this article:

Preventing tractor runover incidents. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/67752/preventing-tractor-runover-incidents.

 

The main types of tractor incidents include rollovers, power-take off entanglements, and runovers. Runover incidents that occur can involve either the operator or a bystander. Tractor manufacturers have made changes (e.g., safety start system) to reduce the risk of certain types of runover incidents. However, all types of runover incidents can be prevented by understanding the hazard and following specific safety recommendations.

Runover of Extra Rider

A runover incident can occur when an extra person on the tractor falls off the tractor and is run over by the tractor or an attachment. There should never be an extra rider on a tractor. The only exception is that a few newer, larger tractor models with an enclosed rollover protective structure (ROPS) cab have a factory-installed extra seat for temporary instructional purposes only. Most tractors used on farms and ranches only have one seat and that is for the operator only. Runover incidents can occur to a person who rides on the tractor drawbar, axle housing, side links of the three-point hitch, rear-wheel fender, or other area around the operator’s seat. When standing or sitting on one of these areas, a person can lose his or her grip, be thrown from the tractor, and be run over by the tractor or an implement.

Prevention Step:

  • Never allow an extra rider on a tractor.

Runover of Operator

A tractor runover incident can occur to the operator if he or she falls from the moving tractor and is run over by the tractor tire or an attachment. This type of incident can occur if the operator does not buckle the seat belt on a tractor with a ROPS or if an older tractor does not have a ROPS. An operator can be knocked out of the tractor seat by a tree branch or another obstacle. The operator can also lose balance if the tractor hits a tree stump or encounters rough terrain. An operator can be run over if he or she tries to mount or dismount a moving tractor.

Prevention Steps:  

  • Never dismount or mount a tractor or machine while it is in motion.
  • Use tractors with a ROPS with seat belt, and fasten the seat belt every time you operate the tractor.  
  • Slow down when driving on rough terrain or where hidden obstacles may exist.
  • Before leaving the tractor seat, always shut off the tractor and set the brake or place the tractor in PARK.
  • Make sure that the tractor’s brakes and clutch are in properly working condition.
  • Replace old pan-type seats with seats that have back and arm rests.

Runover of Person Located on the Ground due to Bypass Starting

A person located on the ground near the tractor can be involved in a tractor runover incident. This type of runover can happen to the operator or a bystander if someone attempts to start the tractor from the ground (e.g., bypass starting) and the tractor is in gear.

Prevention Steps:

  • Always start the engine from the operator's seat.
  • Add or leave the bypass shield on the starter terminals.
  • Keep the tractor’s electrical system in good working condition.
  • Do not disable or wire around the safety interlocks installed by the manufacturer.
  • Always visually check in all directions for people around the tractor before moving the tractor.
  • Reduce your speed when operating the tractor in an area where people are located.
  • Instruct everyone how to get the attention of a tractor operator before approaching the tractor.
  • Provide a safe play area for children to keep them away from farm or ranch work areas.
  • Make sure that all children at your farm or ranch are properly supervised at all times.

Runover of Person Located on the Ground near the Tractor

Bystanders and children are at risk of a tractor runover incident if the operator does not see them. This is especially a concern if they approach a moving vehicle while it is hauling a load in a bucket or using a bale spear attached to the front or rear of the tractor and are knocked down in its path. Bystanders do not always realize they cannot be seen by the operator. They can slip and fall under a wheel of the tractor or equipment.

Prevention Steps:

  • Always visually check in all directions for people around the tractor before moving the tractor.
  • Reduce your speed when operating your tractor in an area where people are located.
  • Instruct everyone how to get the attention of a tractor operator before approaching the tractor.
  • Bystanders should not approach a moving tractor until recognized and acknowledged by the operator.
  • Provide a safe play area for children to keep them away from farm or ranch work areas.
  • Make sure that all children at your farm or ranch are properly supervised at all times.
 

 

 

Use the following format to cite this article:

Preventing tractor runover incidents. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/67752/preventing-tractor-runover-incidents.

 

Sources:

Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., & Murphy, D. (2011) HOSTA task sheet 4.2: Tractor Hazards. Pennsylvania State University. National Safety Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/NSTMOP%20Task%20Sheets%20Se....

Miller, J. & Fragar, L. (2006) Farm machinery injury: Injury involving tractor run-over. Retrieved from http://www.aghealth.org.au/tinymce_fm/uploaded/Research%20Reports/farm_machinery_injury_tractor_runover.pdf.

Smith, D. (2004) Safe tractor operation: Runover prevention. Texas A & M System AgriLIFE Extension. Retrieve from http://agsafety.tamu.edu/files/2011/06/SAFE-TRACTOR-OPERATION-RUNOVER2.pdf.

 

Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Dee Jepsen, Ohio State University jepsen.4@osu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University – djm13@psu.edu
Charles V. Schwab, Iowa State University cvschwab@iastate.edu
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska Medical Center - aaron.yoder@unmc.edu

 

Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Welcome

This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by eXtension.org

LOCATE

Resources

SAY Project and National Clearinghouse

Mobile Apps

Recursos en Español sobre Seguridad y Salud Agrícola

Resources Available

Education and Outreach

Self-Paced Learning

Instructor Led Learning

Training and Resources for Instructors

Webinars

Upcoming Events

Video Resources

Articles (by Topic Area)

USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.