Tractors with front-end loaders are often involved in accidents. When a loader is raised, the tractor’s center of gravity is raised and moved forward. The tractor’s stability is reduced; thus, increasing the chance of overturning.
What should you do when using a front end loader?
- Ensure that everyone is well back from the tractor when operating a front-end loader.
- Add recommended wheel ballast or counterweight.
- Move wheels to widest recommended setting.
- Travel with the load as close to the ground as conditions permit. (If the rear of the tractor lifts, the bucket will hit the ground before the tractor tips.)
- Operate controls from the operator’s seat only.
- Watch for overhead powerlines, depressions, obstructions, and uneven ground.
- Operate and turn tractor at low speeds.
- Avoid travelling downhill with a loaded bucket.
- Drive the tractor in a straight line while loading the bucket. Keep the load in the bucket balanced.
- Lower loader to the ground, stop the engine and lock the brakes before leaving operator’s platform.
- Travel in a straight line when raising the bucket to unload.
- Go as close to the dump site as possible before raising the bucket.
- Remove the loader from the tractor when not in use, if possible.
What should you avoid?
- Do not try to load and turn at the same time. Hitting a solid object could easily overturn the tractor.
- Do not turn with a load raised above the tractor. A quick turn can tip the tractor.
- Do not allow anyone to ride or work in the bucket of a front-end loader.
- Do not use the bucket as a work platform.
- Do not stand or work under a raised loader.
- Do not allow anyone to walk under bucket, even by accident.
- Do not drive with an elevated load.
- Do not leave loader in raised position.