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Get ready for fall harvest with renewed focus on tractor safety

Kubota/BusinessWire press release Published on 24 October 2011

Get ready: The fall harvest season is nearly upon us. The so-called “lazy” days of summer will undoubtedly give way to a very busy harvest for farmers across the county, increasing the likelihood for fatigue and risk of injury for tractor operators logging extra hours in the fields.

Safety Starts with Use of a Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS)
According to the National Safety Council, if all tractors were equipped with a ROPS and a safety belt, about 350 lives would be saved each year.

Make sure your tractor – old and new – has a fully operational ROPS. Along with a fastened seatbelt, ROPS provides a protective zone around the operator, which proves to be highly effective in preventing serious injury and death due to tractor rollovers.

Here are some important reminders for tractor operators for a year-round commitment to safe operating practices:

1. Know your tractor, its implements and how they work. Please read and understand the Operator's Manual(s) before operating the equipment. Also, keep your equipment in good condition.

2. Use ROPS and a seatbelt whenever and wherever applicable. If your tractor has a foldable ROPS, fold it down only when absolutely necessary and fold it up and lock it again as soon as possible. Do not wear the seatbelt when the ROPS is folded.* Most tractor fatalities are caused by overturns. (*Kubota Tractor Corporation strongly recommends the use of ROPS and seatbelts in almost all applications.)

3. Be familiar with your terrain and work area – walk the area first to be sure and drive safely. Use special caution on slopes, slow down for all turns and stay off the highway whenever possible.

4. Never start an engine in a closed shed or garage. Exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless – and deadly.

5. Always keep your PTO properly shielded. Make it a habit to walk around your tractor and PTO driven implement – never walk over, through or between the tractor and implement, particularly if either is running. The PTO rotates with enough speed and strength to kill you.

6. Keep your hitches low and always on the drawbar. Otherwise, your tractor might flip over backwards.

7. Never get off a moving tractor or leave it with its engine running. Shut it down before leaving the seat.

8. Never refuel while the engine is running or hot. Additionally, do not add coolant to the radiator while the engine is hot; hot coolant can erupt and scald.

9. Keep all children off and away from your tractor and its implements at all times. Children are generally attracted to tractors and the work they do. However, a tractor's work is not child's play. Remember, a child's disappointment is fleeting, while your memory of his or her injury or death resulting from riding the tractor with you, or being too close, will last a lifetime.

10. Never be in a hurry or take chances about anything you do with your tractor. Think safety first, then take your time and do it right.

Additional safety information, including Kubota’s “Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety” brochure can be found at www.kubota.comFG

—Kubota/BusinessWire press release

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