Archive for September, 2010

Roll-Over Protective Structures

Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra tractors are equipped with Roll-Over Protective Structures, or “ROPS”. However, in some compact and utility tractors, the ROPS is foldable. We would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone to operate their tractor with the ROPS in the upright position whenever possible and to always wear your seat belt. Having these two devices in place is recommended in the event your tractor ever rolls over.
Tractor rollovers account for 50% of tractor related fatalities in the United States. Distracted operators, speed, and rough or uneven ground are leading causes of tractor rollover. Rollover protective structures (ROPS ) became available for tractors in the mid 1960’s and were not available for all new tractors until the mid-70’s. However, they were not standard equipment on new tractors until 1985. Many tractors built before that time are still in use and they contribute to the tractor fatality rate because they are not ROPS and seat belt equipped. Use of ROPS and seatbelt are 99.9% effective in preventing deaths due to tractor overturns.” Source: National Ag Safety Database – Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS)

The photo on the left shows a ROPS in the correct, upright position. The photo on the right shows the ROPS folded down.

Do you review safety information like this with everyone on your farm? How often do you do it?

AGCO Safety Employee Recognized for Standards

AGCO is proud of our engineering and safety standards. Product Safety Manager, Earle Morton, has worked on these safety standards not only for our products, but also setting industry standards.
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) inducted Earle C. Morton, PE, as an ASABE Fellow. He was one of twelve individuals of extraordinary accomplishment who were inducted at a ceremony on June 22, during the 2010 ASABE Annual International Meeting, held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Product safety manager for AGCO Canada Ltd, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Morton was honored for his outstanding accomplishments in the development of agricultural machinery products and for his leadership toward the writing and implementation of safety standards for the agricultural industry.

For the past 29 years, Morton has lent his expertise to ASABE’s standards program, as well as the standards activities of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Morton’s career began in the design and development of agricultural equipment. In his current position, product safety manager at AGCO Corporation, he is responsible for product safety and standards compliance oversight for all wheeled tractors sold by AGCO in North America. He coordinates company support in product safety and liability matters, including accident investigation and analysis. Source: Earle C. Morton Named to 2010 Class of ASABE Fellows

Earle also received a 2010 Award of Merit from CSA “in recognition of extensive knowledge and long-standing involvement in promoting agricultural safety and standards for agricultural machinery.” Congratulations Earle, we are proud to call you one of our own.

Who do you know that should be applauded for their support and education of agricultural safety in your community?

ATV Safety on the Farm

The theme for 2010’s National Farm Safety Week is “ATV safety”. Check out this article from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that:
* 3,252 ATV related deaths that have occurred since 1982.
* 36% of ATV deaths were to people less than 16 and 16% were under age 12.
* Children riding ATVs too large for their size and skill levels account for almost half of all ATV injuries.
* 14% of ATV operators are under age 16 but the risk of injury for people under 16 is 2.5 times the risk of drivers 16-34.

According to a study by Dr. Fredrick Rivara completed in 1997 of data from 1990-93, ATVs, trailbikes and minibikes account for 8% of all farm-related injuries to 0-19 year olds.

Many ATV-oriented farm chores are given to children, who may operate the ATV in an unsafe manner without proper training and supervision. These may include:
* Driving at excessive speeds
* Taking unnecessary risks
* Accepting riders
* Not wearing required protective equipment

The following suggested practices will help assure safety.
* Drivers should receive sufficient training and supervision.
* Restrict the use of ATVs by children.
* Always wear personal protective equipment when operating an ATV.
* Maintain correct body position and weight distribution during ATV operation.
* Refrain from taking unnecessary risks such as performing stunts, using alcohol or drugs, excessive speeding, and accepting riders.
* ATVs are not to be driven on paved roads.
* Do not operate the ATV under adverse conditions such as inclement weather, insufficient light, hazardous terrain, or an ATV in need of repair.

All-terrain vehicles can be hazardous. These vehicles are used for work and recreation, and are capable of achieving high speeds. Chance of injuries is greater among inexperienced ATV drivers than those who have received training. If young people are using ATVs they must have proper instruction and be able to fully comprehend the machine they are operating. No matter what function the ATV performs, remember that it is only as capable as the operator. ” Source: Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

Do you know of someone who has been affected by an ATV accident? Share your safety tips to prevent others from future injuries.

Farm Safety Week Commences

Join us this week in recognizing National Farm Safety Week. Although it is officially observed in North America this week, farm safety is something that affects everyone all over the globe. So check out our features each day and perhaps you will learn something new or be reminded of something you already knew. Be safe out there.

“In a typical year, 551 workers die while doing agricultural work in the United States and about 88,000 suffer lost-time injuries. Most of these incidents are preventable.

National Farm Safety and Health Week (Sept. 19-25) recognizes the hazardous nature of the agriculture industry and promotes awareness of safety solutions. This annual event was initiated by the National Safety Council (NSC) in 1944 and proclaimed as such by each U.S. president since.

In conjunction with the week-long observance, the National Institute for Farm Safety (NIFS) is sharing its collective expertise with an updated list of farm safety and health professionals. Robert “Chip” Petrea, an Extension specialist in agricultural safety and health at the University of Illinois, and Secretary of NIFS, said “This list consists of members of NIFS who have agreed to serve as contacts for agricultural safety and health issues, in order to provide access to local professionals. The list is alphabetized by state and includes a contact name, the contact’s institution or organization, phone number and email.”

The list can be found on the NIFS Web site at There will also be a link to the list from the Web site of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety NECAS is the agricultural partner for the NSC, and has developed a variety of other safety articles and public service announcements on this year’s theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week, ATVs: Work Smart, Ride Safe.” Source: Farm safety week is Sept. 19-25 | Farm Equipment content from South East Farm Press

I would like to invite you to share your farm safety testimonials and tips every day this week.

Johanna Herlevi Wins European Championship on a Valtra

You may remember a previous blog post about the Valtra pulling team. Family team member Johanna Herlevi recently drove “Doris” (her Valtra tractor) to victory in the Pro Stock 3500 category at the European Tractor Pulling Championship in Hörby, Sweden.

Johanna last claimed the championship 12 years ago. Her brother Matti Herlevi drove “Caesar” to the bronze medal position.

“In the beginning it looked really bad, as Countdown stalled twice on the start line. Luckily I was the first competitor to pull, so my first attempt was just a test run. Still, I felt very confident, because when I started my third pull with Doris I knew where the problem was and that it had been fixed,” Johanna commented.

Her father Pekka Herlevi did not have so much luck, as Sigma Power suffered a gearbox failure in the first pull. The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s third tractor Countdown placed sixth. The overall success of Valtra tractors was backed up by Next Sensation from the Netherlands, which came in second.

“The engine in Doris was damaged a week ago at the Euro Cup event in Bouconville, France when one of the cylinders water jets was clogged. I have to admit that we had a bit of a hurry with the repairs, as the journey from France to Finland and then to Sweden took its own time. Nevertheless, we still managed to make a few test pulls before the event.”

Doris, Sigma and Caesar have all received new turbos in recent weeks that offer around one bar of extra boost pressure thanks to better bearings and other improvements. The tractors’ new tyres have also been softened somewhat, in part by driving long distances with low air pressure. The engines’ valves have also been further developed.

The team has a busy week ahead before the Euro Cup finals in Bakel, the Netherlands next weekend. In the overall Euro Cup standings Sigma Power is still in the best position among the team’s tractors, but it will have to have its transmission repaired in a hurry at the workshop belonging to the Next Sensation team. The point standings are so tight that the Valtra Shell Pulling Team could claim the top three positions, but it is also possible that the team will go home without any medals.” Source: Valtra – Johanna Herlevi wins European championship, Matti third

Have you seen any Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson or Valtra’s at a tractor pull recently?