Henry Williams, 63, died Tuesday, June 19, when the tractor he was operating fell down a 70-ft. hill and eventually landed on top of him. Williams was towing a mower behind the tractor on the grounds of Farmingdale State University when he apparently lost control of the tractor on a dirt road adjacent to a large field he was preparing to mow, reported the Wednesday edition of the Long Island (NY) Press. — Ron Hall
Here are 10 tractor safety commandments, courtesy of Kubota Tractor:
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 our equipment in good condition.
2. Use ROPS and seat belt whenever and wherever applicable. If your tractor has a foldable ROPs, fold it down only when absolutely necessary and fold it back up and lock it again as soon as possible. Do not wear the seat belt when the ROPS is folded. Most tractor fatalities are caused by overturns.
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 t urns 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 shield. Make it a habit to walk about your tractor and PTO-driven implement — never 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. A runaway tractor can be extremely dangerous.
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.
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.