When restoring or just maintaining a tractor, it's important to always put safety first. Remember that you are working with a large machine that could cause serious accidents resulting in injury or even death. Here are some tips to review before you begin:
- Do check for stray tools: After you've been working on the tractor, be sure to check for any stray tools or parts before you start the engine again.
- Do clean up spills: As soon as you spill something, clean it up. This can keep you and others from slipping and falling and prevents flammable fluids from igniting.
- Do communicate: If you are working with someone else, it is crucial that you clearly let them know before you move any part of the tractor or start the engine. Establish a system of communication and confirmation, so that you don't risk
- Do turn everything off: Before you get to work, turn off the engine, remove the ignition key and lower hydraulics. You should also disconnect batteries if you are doing electrical work.
- Do use blocks or stands: Support your machine on sturdy blocks or stands. Always assume that hydraulic lifts and/or stands will fail.
- Don't be careless: It's important to wear gloves and be aware of any sharp edges or tools while you are working. Keep body parts well away from moving parts!
- Don't rush: Haste makes waste, and when it comes to tractor maintenance it can also lead to serious mishaps. Take your time! The more organized you are, the less likely you are to have an accident or inadvertently hurt yourself or your machine.
- Don't start the engine in an enclosed space: Starting an engine in a closed garage, barn or shed could be the last thing you ever do. Make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area so that carbon monoxide in the exhaust fumes can escape.
- Don't work in the dark: Good lighting will make your job much easier, in addition to making it safer.
- Don't work with children nearby: Kids are often very curious about tractor maintenance and restoration. As a general rule, you should avoid working with children nearby, although you may decide to make an exception for well-behaved, responsible young farmers. Just be sure that you know where all children in the area are while you are making repairs, so that they don't end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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