Hazard Alert

Tractor overturns while towing
equipment, crushing farmer

A farmer decided to tow a large broken-down farm tractor with a smaller tractor. The broken-down tractor had a large loader bucket. The farmer attached a tow chain to the large tractor's front axle and then wrapped the chain under the bucket to support it off the ground. Since the small tractor did not have a tow hitch or drawbar, he attached the other end of the chain to the top of its three-point hitch.

The farmer managed to pull the large tractor for about 30 metres (100 feet) before its bucket dropped and dug into the gravel road. As a result, the small tractor flipped over. The tractor did not have rollover protection. The trapped farmer died from his crushing injuries.

Safe work practices: image Fatality 2008-03

  • Use only towing vehicles properly equipped with a tow hitch or drawbar and securing points to pull loads. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the proper point of pull for towing.
  • Ensure that the fibre tow strap, rope, or chain that is used is strong enough and suitable for the particular towing job. Attach the strap, rope, or chain securely to the appropriate hooks or clevis pins.
  • Ensure that the weight of the load being pulled does not exceed the manufacturer's limit for the towing vehicle.
  • Ask your dealer or manufacturer about fitting your older tractor with a rollover protective structure (ROPS).
  • Always wear a seat belt with a ROPS-equipped tractor.
  • Avoid operating towing vehicles on steep slopes and near banks.
Industry: Agriculture