Ten Things You Should Never Do: More Tractor Safety Tips

Avoid putting yourself or others in danger by following these safety tips.

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Never open a hot radiator cap. You could get scalded. And never refill a fuel tank with the engine running.

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1. Don't reverse polarity when jump-starting. Before connecting those jumper cables, look to make sure of the ground on the starting vehicle and the tractor to be started. Connect the "hot" wire first. Then connect the "ground" cable. It's best to connect the ground cable to the tractor frame rather than the battery. Then there is no chance of a spark igniting the fumes coming from the vent caps on the battery. And for gosh sakes, don't jump-start from a 12-volt system to a 6-volt system.

2. Don't open a hot radiator cap, especially if the radiator has been boiling. You could easily be scalded.

3. Don't refill the gas tank with the engine running. Shut down, then refill. And no smoking while refilling, either.

4. Don't get out of the seat while the tractoris still moving. That leaves the tractor unattended even though you might still be standing on it. Tractors have a tendency to go their own way when you are not in control.

5. Don't let small children ride on a tractor that has no fenders or mud skirts. Yes, it is a great experience to let your children or grandchildren ride along, but it is dangerous. One moment of inattention and that precious child could be injured.

6. Don't stand near a fast-moving belt at a threshing machine, hay baler or similar device. When under a load, those long, flat belts have a tendency to flap, maybe even come off the drive pulley. Stay back and stay safe.

7. Don't back an implement without a ground guide. Always use a ground guide when you back an implement. A driver can never see clearly what's behind that combine, corn picker, wagon, threshing machine or hay baler. Get someone to help you. Have that person stand where you can easily see him or her. Make sure you understand the hand signals; then back into position very carefully.

8. Don't wear loose-fitting clothing near a spinning propeller shaft. Never stand near the prop shaft of a piece of operating equipment. Like a rattlesnake in the grass, that U-joint is just waiting to strike.

9. Don't horse around near equipment. Leave that silly kid stuff to the kids. Be sensible; be safe.

10. Don't leave gas in the fuel tank during winter months. Best advice: Drain the fuel tank when you are ready to store your tractor over the winter. In the event of a fire in your storage area, those dregs of fuel make excellent incendiary bombs.