Freaked out about rollovers: Tractor Safety  -- General Tractor Discussion Forum and Review Freaked out about rollovers: Tractor Safety -- General Tractor Discussion Forum

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 05-28-2003, 18:02 Post: 55804
kwschumm



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I have been actively shopping for a compact tractor, but all this talk about rollovers is freaking me out.

In the "Terracing my property" thread TomG & Murf have mentioned worries about tractor stability on 12% grades. Hells bells, I have some grades of 20-22% - if I can't safely traverse and do some small amount of work on these steeper grades a tractors utility value for me is greatly diminished.

I've read extensively here about ballast, maintaining a low center of gravity, tiltmeters, turning safely on hills, slippery conditions, etc. but am am still not sure if a tractor is suitable for my needs. I out of my mind thinking about a tractor under our conditions?






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 05-28-2003, 18:18 Post: 55805
harvey



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 Freaked out about rollovers

My $.02. If you have never operated machinery/equipment may be the job you want to do should be hired to a contractor. You sound like your are not sure about your knowledge equipment, slopes and capibilities of equipment and what can or can not be done.

Always remember it does not matter how good or bad you are. If you lack the knowledge to tackle a complex task "STUFF" can and probably will happen.

Good Luck Harvey






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 05-28-2003, 18:31 Post: 55806
kwschumm



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I don't mind attending safety clinics and educating myself, but the intent of my questions were more along these lines - Is a CUT capable of safely traversing on a 22% grade? Can it safely traverse the grade dragging a rotary cutter behind it? Do I need a CUT with tracks? Does anyone even MAKE a CUT with tracks?

We have one 22% grade that bisects our property. The east and west sides are fairly flat, but I need to be able to get the tractor from one side to the other safely and do brushcutting along the way.






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 05-28-2003, 19:13 Post: 55810
harvey



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I do not want to sound insensitive and I'll try not to. Safety clinics are at farm shows; see how many one armed or legged farmers are there. How many are missing fingers? hands? These are the lucky ones, you do not see the unlucky ones only their widows. Machinery is unforgiving. I will say this: I am seeing fewer lucky farmers these days. Basically the "Darwin" type pool of canidates is getting smaller with each family farm being sold. Today's farmers are more in tune with safety issues and enforce them more with their empolyees.

State workers mow 20+ degree slopes all the time but they have specially built tractors LOW, wider axles, Small wide tires. They have stronger ROPS. They do roll them over quite frequently. REASONS: lack of experience, hidden holes, side slipping and digging in.

Bottom line tractors and slopes is not the place to learn capibilities unless you want to leave a rich widow. Or have a really good woman to take care of your broken body.

Most people learn important stuff by making mistakes and surviving them. I've learned lots. I've been very fortunate through out the years. Even have all of my fingers but a couple of them have funny bends in them Smile.

I do not believe in tilt meters. I believe in the spincter factor. (aka: pucker factor) If it is so tight I can not drive a nail up it with a framing hammer I should not be where I'm at.

Harvey






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 05-28-2003, 19:18 Post: 55811
harvey



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I reread the post and should of asked a silly question. Why not just mow up and down the slope??? Any tractor could do that.






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 05-28-2003, 19:24 Post: 55812
GJ Archibald



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I disagree with Harvey.....anyone can learn to safely
operate a tractor ! This is not nuclear physics, nor is
it overly risky if you use common sense. Like Harvey
states later, go straight up and down the slopes, wear
your seatbelt and keep your arms inside the roller coaster
at all times Wink yeah right Common sense and situational awareness
are all that is required.....if you want to be extra safe,
read every page of your operators' manual....you will be
get bored of reading safety placards very quickly Wink yeah right






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 05-28-2003, 19:27 Post: 55813
kwschumm



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 Freaked out about rollovers

I appreciate your input and am taking no offense. When you say "mow up and down the hill" I assume you mean go directly up and down the hill rather than try to drive sideways across it? That is largely the question. Can a compact tractor safely go directly UP and DOWN a 22% grade? Can it do it safely while pulling a rotary cutter? I don't mean go sideways - when I said traverse the hill I meant up and down. I hope I'd never be stupid enough to try to drive sideways on it.






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 05-28-2003, 19:41 Post: 55814
GJ Archibald



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 Freaked out about rollovers

unfortunately, I am not very good at judging the severity
of a grade by the percentage.....maybe one of the older hands can pipe in and help you with this....all I know is that I go down the back edge of my leaching field in my
JD4100 and it is VERY steep. Sometimes I mow in reverse
in FWD, which is quite interesting Wink yeah right I apologize if my tone seemed smug, I did not mean it to be, I just feel
that tractors should be fun and anyone who has common sense
will realize very quickly what they can and cannot do with one. Oh, one other point, watch the stearing wheel, it is easy to get complacent and not notice it is turned slightly when you drive down the incline........Have phun !






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 05-28-2003, 20:43 Post: 55818
BillMullens

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 Freaked out about rollovers

A 20% grade is one foot vertical in five feet horizontal. It makes a handy reference since my TC29 is 5' wide. One foot in elevation difference between the left and right tires is 20%. And that's enough. Traversing a slope that steep is possible but if something unforseen happens (hit a hole on the low side, or a stump or rock on the upper side), bad things would happen. When in doubt, I back up steep slopes when mowing. With a little practice, it becomes a handy way to mow a slope. And keep it in 4wd going down slopes; that way the brakes work on all four wheels rather than just the back two. Helps prevent runaways.
A quick way to estimate slope percentage is with a board, ruler and carpenter's level. A 5' or 10' long board is handy for mental math. Just lay the board on the slope, put the level on top and pick up the downhill side of the board until the level shows it is level. Now measure from the bottom of the board to the ground on the downhill side. Percent slope = rise divided by run (such as 1/5 =20%) With a 10' long board, each foot in rise is 10%.
Don't give up on compact tractors; just like any other tool, they can be dangerous, but don't have to be.
Bill






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 05-28-2003, 22:58 Post: 55835
JerryG

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 Freaked out about rollovers

I always get confused about percent grade vs degree of slope. Having said that, I think that anyone will get into the pucker factor at 22 degree. I mow all the time at about 20 degrees when going cross a hills on certain areas of my place, but no more. When I do this, it is a known area that has NO drop offs, ridges or bumps. Most places that are that steep or steeper, I mow straight up and down. You can mow to 30 or 35 degrees going up and down. Some may not agree with me, but I do this with bit of experience under my belt. And yes I have a tiltmeter, rather two of them. I use them for curiosity on slopes and to keep check on my pucker factor. The best use I have for them is to make grades, as in ditches and contouring banks etc.






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