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 08-31-2001, 20:32 Post: 31468
Denny Townson



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 Tractor Roll Over

First let me say that no injuries occurred - Thank God. Here is the story so that we may all learn from it. This morning my wife wanted to use my Kubota to put in a flower bed. We had some dirt that needed to be moved to it and I had some work to do in the office so she asked if she could use the tractor to move the dirt. I said sure and went out with her to get her started. She loaded the bucket and headed toward the location for the flower bed to make the dump. There was a slight grade - a drop of about 1 foot in 20 feet and then a steep drop of about 40 feet. She slowed about 20 feet from the bank and eased down the slight grade. Then when she went to stop the tractor wheels began to slide on the grass and it was clear that the tractor was going over the embankment. I saw her jump from the tractor and then I saw the tractor go over the edge. It rolled over end to end and ended up at the bottom back on the wheels. Why did this happen? First, I think she was very cautious and I also think had I been driving the same thing would have happened to me. How could it have been prevented? She approached the grade at a 90 degree angle heading directly down the slope. I think it would have been better to approach it at an angle to the slope. Second, although she had only about 1/3 bucket load, the load on the front lifted some of the weight from the back wheels and made it more difficult to get traction to stop. Third, she was not an experienced operator although she has probably driven the tractor as much as I have on level land. I am going to add weight to the tires, and we are going to be extremely cautious in the future near embankments and grades. I know that we all agree that RPOS and wearing the seatbelt is a good thing but in this case had she not been able to jump from the tractor I can not stand to think what might have happened.We had a wrecker pull the tractor up the embankment. I found that the bucket had a big dent in it, a hydraulic line was broken, and both front wheels were bent. I fixed the hydraulic line and this afternoon I used the tractor and moved the dirt to finish putting in the flower bed. That flower bed will always have a special meaning to the both of us for ever. PLEASE EVERYONE BE CAREFULL!!






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 09-01-2001, 06:15 Post: 31488
TomG

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 Tractor Roll Over

It's good there were no injuries and minimal tractor damage. The trouble with operating on slopes is that soil conditions can change from day to day. Work all day on a slope, it rains and it's not safe the next day. The embankment at the bottom must be very steep to produce an end for end roll. I believe that's fairly uncommon. I assume the tractor was in 4wd. When going hills, there is a weight transfer to the downhill side. If the wheels aren't loaded and there wasn't an implement on the 3ph, the tractor probably was already light in the rear due to the loader weight on front and didn't have much rear-wheel traction. The weight transfer from going down hill further reduced rear wheel traction, and the increased traction on the smaller front tires weren't sufficient. When a tractor starts sliding, there already is no traction. With little traction, brakes don't help and there also is little steering. Unless the soil conditions change, a tractor usually slides to the bottom if you're lucky. Often as not, an axle counter-rotates, the tractor snaps around and side-rolls. I think right-angled approaches to a hill are generally best. In doubtful conditions, some people point loader buckets down and carry them low so the can be dropped as a brake if the tractor starts sliding. I've never has a tractor slide, and I know there are various opinions, but I prefer to back down slopes that are uncomfortable. I figure that keeping the rear wheels on the downhill side generally gives the most traction, due to weight-transfer. The idea of sliding backwards down a hill may seem uncomfortable because steering and view would be awkward, but I figure there probably wouldn't be much steering anyway and also not much time for a view. The reason for always wearing seat belts with a ROPS equipped tractor is that many accidents are side rolls. Most people have a tendency to jump off the low side, and there is a very good chance of getting pinned under the ROPS bar. In this case, it seems good that there was a safety rule violation. Safety rules are supposed to produce the fewest and least severe accidents among all tractor operators. The rules can produce rather than prevent accidents in individual instances. Real glad nobody was hurt.






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 09-01-2001, 21:38 Post: 31500
Michigander



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 Tractor Roll Over

Scary story. Experience did come into play as she could have just lowered the loader all the way. Even if the cutting edge of the bucket didn't dig into the dirt, it would have transfered the weight onto the back tires so the brakes would have been effective.






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 09-01-2001, 22:43 Post: 31502
kay



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 Tractor Roll Over

I didn't see any mention of ballast on the rear of the tractor. Some mention was made that fluid would now be added to the rear wheels. Dropping the bucket, as mentioned, to get the load off the front end, would have helped. Jumping clear obviously helped! Possibly being belted to the seat, and letting the RPS do its job would have worked too. But that would have been scary as h***!. Glad there was no life lost here.






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 09-02-2001, 07:22 Post: 31506
Terry Senay



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 Tractor Roll Over

Certainly glad to hear that your wife was not injured.

I would suggest that you either get your tires filled with liquids or make/buy a ballast box for your 3pt hitch. I chose the later. Also, invest in a tiltmeter.

Yesterday, I took my 4100 (with a tiltmeter) to a friends house so to mow his lawn. His lawn tractor's engine is blown. After a bit, I let him use the tractor. It's an HST with a belly mower, R4 tires, and no ballast. His back yard has some steeper inclines (15 to 20%). It was the afternoon and the grass was dry. On one part which was close to me, he was moving forward at a right angle to the slope very slowly and the front tires began to slide. I mentioned it to him and he began to be a little more cautious.

I guess what I'm saying here is that working on slopes is dangerous. One must use caution and be ready for anything. And by all means, invest in a tiltmeter. $30 or so dollars or a rollover.... what's more expensive. It doesn't prevent a rollover, just makes you more aware of your working environment.

So,






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 09-02-2001, 07:46 Post: 31509
Denny Townson



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Thanks for all the replies. We are finally getting over it now to the point we can begin to laugh about it a little without being overwhelmed by the thought of what almost happened.

I think the suggestion to add weight to the back is correct. Why do you prefer the ballast box on a 3pt hitch to filling the tires?? I also think a tilt meter is a good idea. Can I find them on the web and what tilt angle is consider unsafe for the B2410?






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 09-02-2001, 08:32 Post: 31510
Bird Senter

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 Tractor Roll Over

Denny, you can find the tiltmeters at the link below. Rick's a fine fellow to deal with. I have two of his tiltmeters on my tractor; side to side and front to rear. I don't think any of the tractor manufacturers are going to come out and say what degree of tilt is safe because there are too many factors to consider. If you're already at the maximum safe tilt and one wheel hits a soft spot and sinks a little on the low side, or runs over a small bump on the high side, things can change too quickly. I've heard that all tractors are SUPPOSED to be able to handle 20 degrees, but that's with no implements or accessories that can change the center of gravity. I've never turned a tractor over; think mine could handle 20 degrees just fine, don't want to find out; don't like anything over 15 myself.






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 09-02-2001, 09:38 Post: 31513
MarkS



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 Tractor Roll Over

One word of caution about tiltmeters. Even if you were on a hillside that felt safe at say 20%, that doesn't mean that it will always be safe. As everyone probably knows, ground conditions i.e. have we had rain, speed of the tractor, and unseen obstacles like bumps, can all play a huge part in a rollover. I had a rear wheel jump up one day after hitting a small bump (steered down the hillside to get the tractor to set back down) and I had been on the same hill hundreds of time before.






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 09-02-2001, 12:52 Post: 31515
Frank R Taylor



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 Tractor Roll Over

I took Bird's advice and installed a tiltmeter on my B2400 a while back. I found that my pucker factor increases exponentially once I got over 15 degrees. That leaves a small safety factor for when the tires drop into a hole or rut on the downside of the slope when I'm mowing my pasture. I also keep the FEL bucket in a lowered position. I try never to cut the grass when it's wet. It's too easy to slide down the slope totally out of control. I did it once on a big Massey at the farm when the 7' mower broke loose and dragged the tractor sideways down the slope. That thing seemed to hover there on 2 wheels forever before before it finally crashed back down on all four. I don't mind admitting, it scared the everloving hell out of me. Now I tend to err on the side of caution when on slopes of any kind.






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 09-02-2001, 15:13 Post: 31516
DRankin



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 Tractor Roll Over

I don't know if the design features are the same between a 'bota and a deere but if my 4100 is in 2wd I only have brakes on the rear wheels and quite frankly they are a bit scary when I try to stop quickly at top speed (10.9 mph) going down my steep PAVED driveway. The brakes are probably 300% more effective if I leave it in 4wd as they will stop all four wheels. I am also coming to the conclusion that your can't hang too much weight on a compact tractor as long as it is balanced fore and aft. They are markedly safer with calcium filled tires , wheel weights etc. If you try to save money in this area then you will likely spend the same amount in repairs and afterward you will still have to buy the wheel weights and calcium. When I lived in Anchorage I found out it cost the same to buy four studded tires as it did to pay the inevitable collision deductable. It becomes easier to make monitary decisions when you look at it as a "pay me now or pay me later with interest" type thing.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Projects Forum

Thread 31468 Filter by Poster:
a2hockeydad 1 | AndyMA 1 | Bird Senter 1 | Bruce Pirger 1 | Canuck 1 | Chief 1 | cutter 1 | Denny Townson 2 | DRankin 1 | DrMorgan 2 | Frank R Taylor 1 | kay 3 | MarkS 1 | Michael 1 | Michigander 1 | mike dewald 1 | Terry Senay 1 | TomG 6 |




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