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Bulletin #2327, Farm Equipment Riding Accidents

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farmMaine Farm Safety Program

Farm Equipment Riding Accidents

By Dawna L. Cyr, farm safety project assistant, and Steven B. Johnson, Ph.D., Extension crops specialist

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit extension.umaine.edu.
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Many adults and children are injured each year in farm accidents. Riding on farm machinery contributes to these accidents. Farm equipment is designed to handle one driver and no passengers. Everyone on the farm should be aware of this and never be an extra rider on equipment.

  • Use equipment only for its designed purpose.
  • Never get between a moving tractor and a towed implement.
  • Make sure the path is clear before moving equipment.

Adult Behavior

Safety starts with adults. Children will imitate an adult’s behavior whether it’s safe of not. Make sure proper safety procedures become a part of everyday life. Wear seat belts when driving your vehicle, and fasten small children in approved child safety seats. When riding an ATV, wear a helmet.

Children should not operate machinery until they complete safety training. Adults need to enforce this rule. Machines requiring safety training to operate include lawn mowers and ATVs. Once trained, make sure children always follow safety rules.

No Riders

Most children love the thrill of riding on tractors or other farm machinery. What starts out as innocent fun may lead to injury or death. Children should not be extra riders on any type of equipment. Playing on equipment is fun, but not safe. Children should not play in or around parked equipment.

Children’s fascination with big vehicles can lead to accidents. Adults need to take certain precautions to prevent unsupervised children from playing on equipment. Remove the ignition keys from parked equipment and lock the brakes. Equipment that might fall, such as front-end loaders or scraper blades, should be left in the down position. When parked, self-propelled machinery should be locked, and dangerous machinery components should be kept out of reach of small children. Never leave a tractor PTO in gear. Make sure protective shields are in place.

Many small children receive injuries or die in runover accidents each year. Know where they are whenever starting machinery and especially when backing up equipment. All equipment used on roads should have working lights, reflectors and a slow-moving vehicle emblem.

Children and other passengers should not be allowed to ride on farm machinery. Institute a no-rider policy on your farm and follow it. It can mean the difference between life and death.

This Maine Farm Safety fact sheet is part of an educational fact sheet series produced by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For more information on farm safety, contact your UMaine Extension county office.


Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

© 2002

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