Find information about tractor safety precautions, roll-over protective structures and falling object protective structures.
General safety precautions
- Read and follow all of the manufacturer's operating instructions
- Ensure tractor drivers have completed specialised training for the particular farm needs
- A rollover protective structure (ROPS) must be fitted to the tractor in accordance with s. 216 Roll-over protection on tractors of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- ROPS must comply with the design and testing requirements specified in AS1636.1-1996 Tractors – Roll-over protective structures – Criteria and tests or an equivalent standard
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting clothing and boots
- Wear hearing protection when driving tractors without cabins
- Wear a seat belt where fitted
- Adjust the seat so that all controls can be operated comfortably and safely
- Keep children away from tractors and machinery
- Keep all guards in place, including power take off (PTO) and master shield guards
- Do not carry passengers unless there is a designated seat and seat belt within the protective zone of the ROPS
- Fit attachments according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- When attaching equipment, always use the mounting points or draw bar provided by the manufacturer. Do not use improvised methods.
- Do not alter, modify, or raise the height of the draw bar outside of those adjustments made by the manufacturer.
- When a power implement is attached to the tractor ensure all guards are in place before operating.
- Never hitch above the centre-line of the rear axle, around the axle housing or to the top link pin.
- Do not attempt to adjust or work on implements while they are in motion.
- Do not use or attach implements unless the power shaft or PTO shaft is guarded.
Starting and stopping tractors correctly
- Start the tractor only from the driving position and not from the ground
- Do not dismount from a moving tractor
- Ensure the park brake is on and operating effectively before dismounting
- Do not park a tractor on a steep slope
- Remove the starting key when the tractor is not in use
- Drive at speeds slow enough to retain control in unexpected circumstances.
- Reduce speed before turning or applying brakes.
- Watch out for ditches, embankments and depressions – crumbling and slippery banks can cause overturns.
- When stuck in soft ground, back out. If unsuccessful, get help.
- Reverse up steep slopes, rather than driving forward (ensure no trailing implements are attached).
- Use as wide a wheel track as possible when working on hillsides and sloping ground. Descend slopes cautiously. Keep the tractor in low gear and allow the motor compression to act as a brake.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for adding ballast to improve tractor stability.
Providing regular maintenance
- Service your tractor regularly.
- Check ROPS regularly.
- Do not remove or replace belts while the pulleys are under power.
- Stop the engine before servicing or greasing.
- Keep steps and working platforms free of grease and oil to avoid slips and falls.
- Change wheels on flat surfaces only. Before removing any wheel, check the other wheels. Avoid improvised lifting arrangements. Use a wide-based jack of adequate lifting capacity. When the tractor is jacked up, block it up evenly for additional support.
- Ensure all the air pressure has been released before removing a tyre from the rim. Use correct procedures. Split rims can cause serious injuries. Tyres should be inflated in a cage for safety (see Rim wheels – single-piece and multi-piece for further information).
Protecting your back
- Adjust the seat to suit your body. Consider the type of seating when buying your next tractor.
- A tractor with a seat that has vibration absorbing suspension is highly recommended. Prolonged exposure to vibration may cause back damage.
- Never jump down from the tractor.
- Wear footwear that provides a firm grip when mounting or dismounting the tractor, or operating foot pedals.