Monthly Safety Blasts – Equipment Repair Safety

According to the new John Deere agreement, US farmers will now be able to repair their own tractors and farm equipment. This is great news for farmers who have had to wait days or weeks for an official repair that often undermined their planting and harvesting schedules.

However, as more tractor and equipment owners are completing their repairs at home, it is imperative to remind producers of the possible dangers of repairing equipment alone or improperly.

Unsafe habits like taking shortcuts, working alone, failure to read the operator’s manual, ignoring warning signs, and failure to follow safety rules can lead to a serious injury or fatality.

Farm John Paul Dineen III is a Farm Bureau member, and the founder of the Texas Agriculture Memorial Day. He experiences a nearly fatal injury while repairing his planter. He says, “we were making a quick choice, a poor choice and removed one of the jacks” but one of the supports gave way and fell on him nearly breaking his neck and choking him to death. In his words, “there were many could have’s that day.” After the incident, he says when he finds himself in a rush, he tries to slow back down, because an injury or fatality is not worth the short cut.

According to his wife, Heather, when the incident happened, it was scary. She says, “he is our provider, he is our protector…I don’t know how I would function without him.” Watch the full story here.

Tractor Maintenance Safety

  • Read, understand, and follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.
  • Disengage power, lower hydraulics and stop the engine before doing any maintenance.
  • Remove the ignition key.
  • Disconnect batteries before doing any electrical work.
  • Support equipment on blocks or stands. Do not rely on hydraulic hoists or cylinders. They are designed for lifting only and can fail without warning.
  • Provide adequate ventilation when running an engine indoors. Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide–a colorless, odorless and deadly gas.
  • Use appropriate tools. Tractor maintenance requires wrenches and other tools that may be larger in size than those used for automobiles.
  • Protect yourself from sharp edges and protruding parts. Wear gloves and cover sharp edges with tape or guards.
  • Keep all guards in place. Replace damaged or missing guards or shields.
  • Keep hands, feet and clothing away from moving parts.
  • Adjust right and left brakes so they are equal on the rear wheels.
  • Check steering and control mechanisms, warning devices and lights.
  • Keep the work area clean and well lit.
  • Clean up spilled oil, grease or hydraulic fluid immediately.
  • Remove all tools and parts before starting the engine.
  • Do not start the engine, engage power or raise or lower an implement without warning other people in the area.

Implement Safety

  • Always remove the ignition key, disengage the power, lower hydraulics, and stop the engine before doing any repairs.
  • Support equipment on blocks or stands. Do not rely on hydraulic hoists or cylinders. They are designed for lifting only and can fail without warning.
  • When making repairs where equipment is propped up, ask for assistance in case the machinery comes off the blocks.


Power Take-Off Safety

  • Now is the time to consider purchasing or installing a PTO master shield on your tractor. It covers and extends over the tractor PTO stub on three sides.
  • The PTO can be one of the most dangerous parts of the tractor. Shafts rotate at a high speed. Most injuries occur when people get too close to a rotating shaft.
  • Never wear loose clothing around PTO.
  • Always disengage the PTO and shut off the tractor before dismounting the tractor.


Find additional farm safety resources at

PTO Safety-
Tractor Maintenance Safety-