Don’t Tip Your Cows and Don’t Tip Your Tractors

4/12/2016 10:33:28 AM by Christie Collins

Last week I talked about some general safety tips going into the spring season. I felt like this safety issue deserved a blog all its own. All jokes aside about cow tipping, which if you ask my city friends, they swear it is still a thing. Tractor rollovers remain one of the main causes of deaths on farms. It doesn’t matter how experienced the operator behind the wheel is, accidents happen.

Rollover Protection Structures (ROPS)

First of all, if you don’t have an enclosed cab you should install roll bars, at the very least. Obviously this doesn’t prevent rollovers, but it reduces the probability of the driver being seriously injured or killed. Wearing a seat belt is also required along with ROPS if it is to be effective.

Preventing a sideways rollover

 Avoid driving on steep hillsides, but if necessary and you have to turn, make sure you are turning downhill.

 Always watch your speed when turning, slow down.

 Keep a safe distance from the edge of the ponds, roadside, ditches or slopes.

Preventing a rear rollover

 If you must drive up a steep hill, do so in reverse. If you are driving down a steep hill, drive straight and not at an angle.

 Change your tractor speed gradually by applying power smoothly.

 Use a draw-bar at the manufacturer’s recommendation to prevent hitching too high. Heavy loads change the center of gravity of the tractor making it easier to flip backwards.

As always watch for obstacles such as stumps, large rocks or holes. It all comes down to where the center of gravity is on the tractor. Any shifts in the angle of the tractor or weight distribution due to hitching up loads will change the center of gravity. Once that has changed you must think about the proper and safe maneuverability of your tractor.

Please be safe from all of us at