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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm plagiarizing the idea.

Let's write in here things that have scared the living $h!t out of us. Don't write responses, unless you have something to add to a previous. Let's have only things to pass on to others so it becomes a nice concise read for new folks and people in need of a reminder.

If suggest this format:

1. What happened, or almost happened
2. How and why it happened
3. How it could've been prevented

-J.


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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I'll go first....

I almost took a rebounding 5-6" poplar branch in the head.

I was trying to mow into the edge of our bluffs, and the branch caught on the ROPS, spring loading it, and whipping back. I've heard guys have been killed that way.

Just gotta be careful around the big trees. I've pruned all the ones in the yard high enough now, but all the bushes would be impossible. I think if I ever do a lot of that again I'll wear a full face sledding helmet. I'll look like a weirdo, but at least I won't drool on myself for the rest of my life.

-J.


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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'll go second....

This is a bad one. Wasn't me, but it's a story that needs to be told.

I ran a trauma to save a young man's like in June of 2014. He hopped down from the cab of his old IH 1086 to open a gate while baling, and accidentally left the tractor in gear. When he realized what happened he tried to climb the ladder and get back in. He slipped, and the tractor and round baler ran him over - across his pelvis, widely opening the ring that contains some rather large blood vessels.

By the time he got to us about 4 hours later he was sick as hell, grey, unconscious, close to the end. About 8 units of blood, 10L of crystalloid, and a pelvic binder later, we got him a somewhat physiologic BP & heart rate, and to the ICU. We fixed his pelvis a few days later, and he's still with us. He'll never be the same, but he's still with us, and more importantly with his wife and kids.

So, I suppose it happened cause he got complacent, likely rushed. Also, he tried to save the equipment, and almost paid the biggest price for it. I'll add too (see below) that this guy is no dummy. He's no different than any of us.

So, what to do about it? Slow down a notch or two around the big things that can kill you. Don't be complacent. Use the park brake, put the tranny in park. Run a checklist when you get off the machine (drobinson's idea), same as I learned in flight school. After doing it 8-10 times it becomes natural and takes 2 seconds. In fact, have a checklist for starting, shutdown, parking, etc.... Always remember that metal and wood can be replaced, fingers, limbs, and heartbeats can't.

-J.

ps - after we got enough blood into him to perfuse his brain so he could open his eyes, he and I recognized each other.... I had electively fixed his shoulder 2.5 years earlier.... Small world!! He was such a great patient, a real tough SOB. It was great to be able to help him. This is how I know he's a good guy....




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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok, I'll go third too....

My grandpa was my best friend growing up. We hung out all the time, he taught me about farming.

When he was in his late twenties, he lost his leg, mid femur, in a PTO shaft on a feed mixer. I think his coveralls got caught. Now, that was 1960 something, so I'm sure guards, etc were non existent. He came close to the end that day, i'm told.

I guess the mistake was loose clothing, and if it were 2015, removal of the safety guards.

What to do about it?? ALWAYS remember how much HP is being transfered to that shaft, and how unforgiving it is once it's got you. Same for post hole augers. Snug clothing, no strings from your hoodies or toque's or winter gloves, no loose boot strings. Leave the damn PTO guards on. Don't disable the PTO to ass-in-seat safety switch.

-J.

ps - Pop lost the tip of his index finger in a combine header in the late 70's - slow learner......


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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Fourth.....

Saw a guy when I was a resident who was checking the level in the fuel tank (the gasoline fuel tank) of his truck or tractor. It was dark out, so he's used, yup, you guessed it......

HIS LIGHTER!!!!

Darwin is alive and well.

I'll assume that I won't be needing to essplane how to prevent that one.

-J.


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Good advice in all the examples, Doc. But, number 2 tells a story that all of us need to remember - slow down and think. It takes a matter of seconds to run a mental checklist before dismounting. It seems as though the more experience we have and the more familiar we are with the equipment, the more likely we are to do stupid sh-t. I'm guilty, but I notice that being older has made me stop and think more.

I could probably list dozens of incidents that have made me pucker, but my first was at age 11 or 12, I was driving a Copar Panzer tractor, small garden tractor, which was my primary means of transportation at the time. I was on a side hill in my Dad's apple orchard, stopped, backed around (too damn fast) and rolled all the way over and landed on the wheels with me still in the seat. I drove back to the garage, cleaned off the oil that spilled, filled the crankcase and kept going. Never did tell my Dad, but I learned a valuable lesson.

A big thanks to guys like you that have the ability to put people like us back together.
 

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I have way to many pucker stories...

One , right after getting my 2210 w/fel ,,,had no ballast on tractor, dew on the ground & not in 4X4 . Started going down the hill to the creek , next thing I know, tractor is picking up speed ,, quickly put bucket to the ground.

Remember think through what you are doing ,,

Years and years ago , cleaned out our garage. Had 4 blocks of 50# salt, a 50 # LP tank, 2 or 4 car or truck tires with rims, plus at lot of other things in FIL trailer and using his MF455 L&G tractor. Started down around the side of the house and next thing I know , tires with chains on are turning backwards and picking up speed. Slid about 300' and thankfully the FIL had just tilled the garden and that is what kept me from going in the creek.

Don't overload the tractor ,, make that second or third trip . Be Safe.

Could go on , and on and on...
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Here's one from this Fall for new TLB operators: I had a FULL bucket of cordwood splits 4' raising off the ground going to the stack. It's a new location that has room for 3 rows next to a chainlink fence then starts to slope uphill. I was finishing the second row. As I eased to the end of the row slightly down hill turning slightly to the left I felt the RH back tire going off the ground. Instant instinct got the BH boom swinging to the right mighty quickly but not all the way until the machine gently settled on the frame/front axle stop. Now I know exactly where that tipping point is with how much weight.

JD wood.jpg

Tractor was 8' further up the hill and about where the camera was in this picture. "It doesn't look like it's steep!" It's not that steep, it's just steep enough with a full bucket.:laugh:

Keep your load as low as you can, it's far easier to grab the loader lever and drop the bucket than swinging the BH. I didn't drop the bucket as I would have knocked down the ends of 2 rows of wood. I went for "Door Number 2" because I hate doing extra work restacking wood.:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keep your load as low as you can, it's far easier to grab the loader lever and drop the bucket than swinging the BH. I didn't drop the bucket as I would have knocked down the ends of 2 rows of wood. I went for "Door Number 2" because I hate doing extra work restacking wood.
Using the BH is a fancy move, no question, but for Christ's sake, just drop the bucket, spill some wood, and stop yourself from getting crushed under your machine!!!! That line of thinking is exactly how my patient almost died - trying to stop the tractor to prevent a mess (not a life), and in doing so, almost dying himself......

Pardon the criticism, but again, plastic and metal can be re-bought - fingers, limbs, and heartbeats.......not-so-much.

-J.
 

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A few years ago while mowing with my 4x4 2210 I was on top of our hill and as I usually do I put it in 2 wheel drive to mow the flat part. As I came around to start going down the hill the tractor started going faster then it should. As I realized what was going on it was to late to put it in 4x4. I'm pushing down hard on reverse and all it did was leave skid marks. Then I turned just a little and, yep, it turned all the way around so that now I'm going backwards with my foot hard on the forward petal still leaving skid marks. Toward the bottom it leveled out just enough so that when it hit the blackberry bushes it stopped the tractor. You'd think that would make a person think the next time, right?! Nope! The very next time around I did the very same thing. Different result this time as I knew right away what happened so I did a slow turn and let it go toward the side and took a long ride going sideways across the hill till it came under control. Ever since then I always look at the 4x4 lever to make sure it is in 4 wheel drive. I even marked where it's in 4 wheel drive and where it should be for 2 wheel drive. Marked it with a black marker so it can be seen real easy. I'm always looking. I did have a rather nice pair of skid marks going from the top to the bottom. No there was none in my under drawers, I checked. :laugh: Did make the heart beat faster. Both times. And by the way, I had turf tires on and unless my land is flat I'll never have a set again. I tried this with the 1026 and R-4's, it does better but it still will not hold it back in 2 wheel drive going down that hill. Don't know if AG's would be any better. Lesson I learned, I always look to make sure it's in 4 wheel drive. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I always wear my seatbelt when side-hilling too....


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I can't say I have much to add here, luckily. My land is all flat except for 1 corner of our back field. The only time the tractor is back there is with the rotary cutter. Always with MFWD engaged, seatbelt on, ROPS up, FEL on and mowing up and down the slope. I must have down something right because my son always puts the seatbelt on and makes sure the ROPS is up whenever he uses the tractor (just for lawn mowing or routine yard work). He says he feels uncomfortable with it any other way
Great thread BTW

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I always wear my seatbelt when side-hilling too....


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I can't do that Jer as I have to sit on one fender or the other when I mow. Wife won't even watch me mow. :think: :pray:
 

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Wow, good reminders . . . . Back about 30 years or so I'm cutting firewood with my youngest boy, probably 3yrs old @ the time. Cuttin' oak,:treehugger: medium (1.5') to larger (3-4') size trees, clearing land for a local farmer:greentractorride:. Working on a medium size tree, comes down easy, no hang-ups. De-limbed it as I always do, then went back and cut it into 16" wood stove friendly lengths. . . . Heavy Lombard chainsaw with a 24" bar mean as ever.

Going along, smooth as can be, bent over making my cuts . . . . Suddenly BAM:unknown:, smacked right between the eyes.:banghead: While falling backwards I had the wits about me to turn the chainsaw off. Flat on my back, took a few to figure out if I was still alive. Took my gloves off and reached up to my face to see if my head was split open and bleeding. Nope, a-okay, glasses still on my face and didn't break.:good2: The good Lord was watchin' out for me.:pray:

Took a few more before I got up. Realized when I fell the oak it came down across a 4" tree and loaded it with full tension. As soon as I made the 16" cut closest to the intersection of the two trees it was released with a 'home run' hit.:bash: My son was unaware of the incident. Never cut firewood without an adult with me again and always watched how a tree would come down a whole lot closer.:thumbup1gif:
 

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Learning how to use my shiny new 1025 to clean up some downed trees and go to thinking about how much heavier this this is than my old LX288 was. I start thinking that I can probably use it to pull down that 6" by about 20' widow maker. So I throw a chain around it and hook the other end to the bucket and start back up. Widow maker some down almost immediately, lands on its and and then starts falling right at me. Fortunately I had the bucket up and it deflected off that. From now own I'm going to be more careful about how much chain I've got so I can make sure I'm back far enough so that sort of thing can't happen again....
 

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I always wear my seatbelt when side-hilling too....


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Only on side-hills?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Mostly, yes. I'm aware...... Let's keep this thread concise.


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When I had my 425 AWS tractor I had a small metal cart. The kind the has 1 axle and wheelbarrow type tires. It wasn't long after we bought this place. So I'm going around picking up rocks, big ones, small ones and medium ones. Well with the cart about ¾ full I seen one half way down one of our hills and thought I'd just drive down there and pick it up. Sometimes thinking isn't my strong suit. As I start going down said hill I realize I have to much weight in the cart. Oh yah, it picks up speed and went right past the rock and didn't want to stop till I got to the bottom. Seeing as the bottom was level and not very much space I had to make a turn there. That all turned out alright except for the cart. As I made the turn and came to a stop the cart decided it had to much weight on it too and flipped over dumping the whole load. So now I get to pick up all these rocks again. But first I had to straighten out the hitch as it was twisted. That wasn't a fun ride. Now that I'm on the bottom I get to thinking if I can even make it up the hill with the load without being pulled back down backwards. Finding a less steeper place to go up I went for it and made it. That's when I decided that I needed a 4 wheel drive tractor. I gave the cart away. Been looking for a 4 wheeled wagon since, or at least a cart that has bigger wheels and tires. Wasn't long after I was the proud new owner of a 2210. :thumbup1gif:
 

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This is a great thread. Thank you for starting it. Like most of you, I have some scary stories of myself and from being a volunteer fireman.

I'll share one from my personal file.

I was 15 maybe 16 when my uncle dropped off a Cub Cadet hydrostatic drive and hydraulic lift. It was maybe a 16 hp machine. Looked like a fairly nice tractor. He is no mechanic so I knew it was with my dad for a reason.

It was late fall and my our swimming pool was closed for the season. I was mowing with the Cub when I made a pass near the pool. I noticed one of the weights that holds the cover in place had shifted. I dismounted to adjust the weight while I was thinking about it. I was maybe 8-10 feet from the pool. I left the tractor running full throttle and I'm sure the deck was still engaged. This machine was maybe '74 model. After I stood back up surveying my work, I turned to 'catch' the tractor from behind. It was in reverse and turned towards the pool. I was darn near dead center to it when we meet. I believe God had a hand in this. Like the Incredible Hulk I battled that machine and it was winning. While I can swim like a fish, I was pretty sure the cover was gonna make my escape futile. Maybe 2-3 feet from the edge I managed to reach to the chrome lever and shove it forward. The Cub responded to that command and took off forward. I caught the tractor and turned it off. Then I looked at my shins and the loss of skin. Prayers of thanksgiving while praying that I did not have a heart attack.

Like your #2 story, I should have shut the deck off, idled the machine and set the brake. I almost did not see that thing coming. I now knew what my uncle wanted fixed.
 
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