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You Never Know When It Will Get You

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vocatexas

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#1
I posted this on another forum I'm on a couple of days ago. Thought I'd post it here as well. Maybe it will prevent someone else from an accident...

A friend and neighbor of mine was killed Thursday doing something I'll bet most of us have done. For reasons unknown it appears he was starting one of his tractors (a large farm tractor, not a lawn tractor) by shorting across the solenoid. Unfortunately, he left the tractor in gear and when the engine started it ran over him. I don't know how long he was there until a neighbor lady passed by and saw him laying there and called EMS and Fire. They got him packaged, but didn't even make it to the highway before he died. What's crazy about this is that this is the third person I know in this area that's been killed this way in the last ten years or so. One guy doing this had his tractor in reverse and it ran over his brother and killed him. I knew both of them.

Guys, DON'T get under a vehicle held up by just a jack and no jackstand or cribbing of some sort. ALWAYS chock the tires before you get under something that could roll. DON'T start equipment without being in the driver's seat and if you must, MAKE SURE the transmission is in neutral. Don't get under a large object being lifted by any kind of machinery. I know we've ALL been guilty of being in a hurry or simply just not thinking and doing something and later realize how bad things could have been. I've been there myself. Let's all be safe and try to think of what could go wrong so something like this doesn't happen again.
 

Terry Worm

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#2
First, my condolences on the loss of your friend. Tragedies of this type never get any easier. You have posted some excellent advice, and this is one of those things that we often don't think about until it happens to someone we know such as a neighbor just down the road. We all need to remember that no one else will look out for our safety and that we ourselves must take it very seriously. NEVER take your safety for granted.
 

Bob Korves

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#3
Really sorry to hear about your friend. Whenever I am doing a job that looks like it could get dicey, alone or with others, I say aloud jokingly "what could possibly go wrong?" It gets a laugh, but also brings up an opportunity to think about and look for things that might go wrong, and address them before proceeding. Being in a hurry around stuff that can hurt, maim, or kill you is a truly bad idea.
 

markba633csi

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#4
This is why more and more products have so many warning stickers; I'm surprised new cars don't have them: "Warning! dangerous machine-use with caution"
M
ps I'm guessing the tractor guy had been doing this before (the solenoid trick) and had gotten casual about it- too casual
 
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Robert LaLonde

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#5
I think that's why forward reverse pedals are so common on smaller tractors.
 

tweinke

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#6
Safety, the first thing you think of after the accident was a saying that my school shop teacher used. He always stressed that you should think out a situation before doing anything. I have noticed that a person gets a false sense of safety after running a machine for awhile and should always try to remember to respect the dangers involved and when you do not do that is when bad things happen. Be safe out there guys!
 

rock_breaker

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#7
Sorry about the loss of your friend, it's not easy.
This reminded me of an incident while I was working at the Holcim Quarry. A mechanic was using a push button to engage the engine starter remotely when lunch time came. After lunch he resumed his work while on the ground, he pushed the button and the truck he was working on lurched forward smashing the closed garage doors. Fortunately there were no injuries and the mechanic was given incentive to recheck his work area after leaving the area.
Have a good day
Ray
 

dlane

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#8
One time getting off my tractor my foot hit the shifter and it went into gear with me halfway off it , luckily it went into first gear (I can crawl faster than 1st gear) I was able to stay away from the rear wheel and jumped back on it got it stoped.
I’m pretty carful now when getting off not to hit the shifter when it’s running :eek 2:
 

RJSakowski

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#9
Tractors are dangerous , no doubt about it. There have been a deaths attributed to tractors in our township.

Many years ago, I was trying to start my Ford 8N tractor. The 8N has an interlock of the starter switch which prevents starting in gear.

The battery had run down and I brought up a spare battery which I put on top of the clutch pedal and connected the ground to the tractor with an extra cable. I ran a cable from the positive terminal and bypassed the solenoid, starting the tractor. The tractor running, I disconnected the battery and lifted it off the clutch pedal.

Unfortunately, the tractor was in gear. It ran over my leg and took a right turn, proceeding down a fifty foot slope towards a highway. Fortunately, it ran over my thigh and was in first gear. I got up and ran after it and caught it before it made it to the road.

Reflecting on the incident, it could have been much worse. The Ford 8N is a fairly light tractor, weighing in at about 3,000 lbs. Conservatively, half the weight would be on the front end and half the remaining on each rear wheel. Also, the thigh bone is the strongest bone in the body and combined with the wide rear tires makes for the best of a bad situation. It did leave some interesting bruise patterns on my thigh though.
 

markba633csi

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#10
I'll bet you didn't even feel the bruises as you were running after it! LOL I'm sure it was sore later though
Mark
 

Silverbullet

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#11
Many of the old tractors the starter is up in the cowling near the big flywheel. Right by the tires , just not made to be jumped that way. But to save $20. 98% of all farmers will short them out. Forty five years ago when I used to walk and work on big tractors I had a push button switch on a heavy two wire jumper with alligator clips made just for that it came in a timing kit. Some abused tractors were famous for jumping in and out of gear. We had an old Oliver 88 ? Inline 6cylinder with metal spiked wheels that was famous for its slip . My dad hated it but said he new guys killed using the Oliver's because of there power they'd flip over backwards .The only good thing if it got stuck a log in front of the spikes and it climbed right out. I learned real young about tractors and death and it still keeps happening. My sincerest condolences to the family and hope others will please be careful , machines have no cares of what they do.
 

RJSakowski

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#12
I'll bet you didn't even feel the bruises as you were running after it! LOL I'm sure it was sore later though
Mark
No I didn't. I think that the thought of the tractor having an intimate encounter with a semi was pumping adrenaline through my body
 

middle.road

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#13
It's always shame when you hear of stories with loss of life or injuries like this. Doesn't make sense.
The shop teachers in High School always stressed using chocks and stands or cribbing.
Still we had a classmate that got crushed under a vehicle at his home when the jack gave out.

As mentioned above and in other posts, one needs to approach the task at hand and really stop and consider what you're about to do.
Despite that line of thinking, I keep having semi-close calls that bother me.

During the cold snap I went and fired up the ol' skid-steer. I had the wheels chocked. But as it turns out not adequately.
I had wood 4x4's, in hindsight I'm using either 6x6's or more rubber ones from now on.
When she fired up the hydraulics (which are aged to say the least) went wonky. It's the old style two lever type.
Well a valve must have been too cold or whatever, it was feeding the drives and she got as skittish as a spooked horse.
one of the 4x4's was rotted and shreaded and without that one holding her in place she started going hard right, all the while I'm trying to get the handles into the 'neutral' zone. The other three 4x4's didn't stay in position, and I couldn't get levers to hit the sweet spot.
Throwing the levers forward or backwards and it just kept feeding the drives in that direction - no neutral.
Forward or reverse, finally after what seemed like forever it warmed up or whatever and fell into neutral, and I was able to reach the key and kill it.
Crawled out, rounded up two 6x6's and two rubbers, then fired her up again and let her run until good and warm. Treated the fuel and drained the water from the line.
I suppose this spring I'll be attempting some hydraulic valve maintenance. And perhaps a Big Red kill button/switch.
 

Blackjackjacques

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#14
I recall our junior high shop teacher imparting safety instructions about a lathe and how not to wear loose clothing, jewelry, necklaces, etc when he reached for a switch just behind the headstock. As soon as he hit the green "ON" button we all watched as his head dropped violently only to bounce off the rotating head with a loud "knock" I can still hear today. Apparently, his tie got caught, however, at the time we all thought it was staged to make a point, until we saw the nasty open gash across his face and all the blood. To this day, I cannot look at anything rotating without recalling the "knock" of yesteryear. Thank you Mr. Neugerbauer.
 
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