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I remember one summer while I was working on my Uncle's farm a local farmer being killed when the tractor he was driving rollovered and on top of him. It was a tragic event for the farming community. Unfortunately, tractor rollovers are all too common. We have handled a few such cases over the years.

Rollovers are generally due to driving too fast for conditions; striking surface hazards such as rocks, stumps or holes; running into ditches; driving on steep slopes; and operating front-end loaders improperly. All too often, safety is put aside to save time.

Most farm workers learn how to drive tractors by "trial & error". Tractor safety manuals and classes on how to safely operate farm tractors are not readily available.

One other problem is that young kids are allowed to operate tractors and they don't appreciate the dangers associated with driving a tractor. I started driving a tractor when I was 14 years old. The first time I operated a tractor, I nearly drove it thru a fence. I spent hours upon hours in open fields prepping grass for baling and learning how to operate a tractor. As I watched and learned, I began to understand the dangers and risks involved with driving a tractor. The death of the local farmer also reinforced my need to drive as safely as possible and to avoid any risks.

Farm tractors are one of the most important pieces of equipment on farms. The safe operation of farm tractors is essential to farm workers. More needs to be done to make sure that drivers are properly trained and kids do not start driving at too young an age. Proposed limits on what kids can do on farms is getting some push-back, but, some safety tools need to be in place to protect against injuries or deaths cause by tractor rollovers.

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