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Author Topic: Things you don't want your tractor to do when your  (Read 5126 times)

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Offline L. Wakefield

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Things you don't want your tractor to do when your
« on: February 02, 2002, 10:04:26 AM »
   I've been meaning to post this (don't think I mentioned it yet)- it turned out to be funny but could have been otherwise. I butchered the bull a couple weeks ago- had the quareters hooked to the bucket on my International tractor- wanted to 'hang em high' to keep them away from the dogs. Hydraulics were not brim-full, and I've had them leak off before in the best of situations over a prolonged period. So I took a 2x12 to 'chock' the bucket in the 'up' position. 'Up' being pretty maxxed out- 10' or more. We were also low on gas, and just as I got the bucket up and the chock in place, she stalled out. So I let the hydraulics off 'just a mite' to settle the bucket solidly onto the chock and stabilize the whole thing.

  Well, this is an International tractor, and the (pernicious) hydraulic valves are all 2-position- that is, you have a 'slow' that only operates when your hand is on it ('dead man' function)- but you also have a 'fast' where you push a little FURTHER, and the thing goes on to completion. Engine was off, as I'd said, so I wasn't expecting anything strange. I'm watching the board and the bucket (standing on the ground holding the board, of course)-- and suddenly the tractor is trying to climb up my back...

  So I jumped out of the way, said a few choice words (use your imagination) and tried to figure out what the H*** was happening. I'm sure you figured it out.. the hyd lever was in the 'fast' position, the bucket was trying to come down, and the chock acted like a fulcrum- as the bucket couldn't come down any further, the rear wheels came forward (it was in the barn- in neutral cuz it had been running, and since it was level ground *I* hadn't set the parking brake..

 By the time I figured it all out, flipped the lever off, the wood had spit out and the quarters were on the ground..(sigh)- so I put the dogs inside, went out, and bought some more gas..
got it all back where it should be.

  Never turn your back on that tractor- sneaky beast that it is..

 I guess it's on my list to replace the hydraulic lever system with something more safe. With all the tractors I'd previously operated, I'd never seen one with this format before. Anybody else have it- and LIKE it? I can't really see the advantage, unless you want to kill the unwary. A Darwinian arrangement..

  Setting the parking brake also would have been a thought. But it's not the strongest either. I don't think I will re-create the situation just to see if it 'would' have held. ::)  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2002, 11:08:41 AM »
I'm sure glad someone was watching out for you LW and that DanG tractor, didn't run you over. Here in Minnesota, there is a lot of farming and I read about tractor related accidents way too often. Mostly, it seems are rollovers and getting wrapped up in the power take off. After you fix those hydraulics, be sure to remember to set the brake the next time too. :)
Charlie
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Online Jeff

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2002, 12:31:22 PM »
The first dead person I ever saw was when I was 15. My buddy Mark and I had went to the woods where his uncle was working to take him something to eat. As we aproached we saw his tractor was upside down. He was pinned under it and was clearly gone. 

 The old tractor simply pivoted on its own axle crushing him beneath it.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2002, 07:24:10 AM »
   A friend of ours was towing a loaded moving van up a hill with his tractor. I don't have any idea how he had it fastened off, whether he had a drawbar or what.. he popped a wheelie and crushed several ribs. His wife thought he was a goner excpet he kept yelling with what breath he had. I gather it was quite a scene to get in at the controls and get it back down on its wheels. He was a long time recovering.

  When I bought my tractor up here the boys were about 13. My rule was you don't drive it alone. Time and again my husband would go out with my stepson and then I'd find the kid on the tractor by himself, husband nowhere around. I put a stop to it. I wouldn't mind if we were on the same page on safety and teaching, but we're not. :(    lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2002, 08:55:27 AM »
When I was 15 years old I was put out of commission for a few months after I broke my back in a tractor accident.  Long story short, don't haul round bales without hay forks on a tractor with suspect hydraulics.  I was lucky I was on the skinny side, had I been a larger person it would have been much worse.

Offline Don P

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2002, 11:29:11 AM »
We seem to lose someone annually to a tractor accident, rollovers, crushes...set the brake-lost a skidder driver 2 yrs ago that way, pinned to a tree, Same goes when you hop out of the truck to get the gate, 2 in the last 5 years have gone that way. Last year it was an old gent pulling a hulk out of the weeds with a chain, nothing on the 3pt. The car hit a stump and the tractor crawled right over on him, mashed the tractor tires to the rims. A box blade, forks, anything would have bought him a little reaction time...so do lower gears, wired for 110 running on 220 doesn't work for long.

Offline DanG

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2002, 09:53:09 PM »
The thought of a tractor rearing over turns my stomach. Whenever I'm pulling something heavy, or likely to catch on something, I fasten the chain to the front of the tractor, and run it underneath, and through a clevis on the drawbar, just to keep it away from the tires. This tends to pull the front down, and prevents any possibility of a backward rollover.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2002, 04:37:56 PM »
A good bit of advice I was offered by a tractor salesman years ago was "Don't ever let a pulling load get above your rear axles."

I have heeded his advice and have kept my front wheels on the ground.(a good thing when you have 4 wheel drive) :D

When skidding a big log, I put a skid hook on a tool bar which is attached to the two lower arms of the 3 point hitch.  It would be easy to raise this load above the rear axle so I run a chain from the  drawbar to the log.   I use the 3 point hitch to lift the log some and put weight on the rear wheels for traction, but when I start to move forward, the chain between the log and the drawbar is what takes the load.
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2002, 04:56:36 PM »
That's the rule,  Tom,  that salesman done you good.  Any pulling point above the rear axle is suicide.  Q.E.D.
A complete back-flip can happen in less than 1/2 a second,  believe it or not!
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2002, 06:07:16 PM »

Quote

The thought of a tractor rearing over turns my stomach. Whenever I'm pulling something heavy, or likely to catch on something, I fasten the chain to the front of the tractor, and run it underneath, and through a clevis on the drawbar, just to keep it away from the tires. This tends to pull the front down, and prevents any possibility of a backward rollover.


  That's a DanG good idea! How come I never thoughta that?!!

  I hope I'll remember it when I need it :)   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Cedar Eater

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2002, 05:45:38 PM »
When I was 18 and working for a landscaper (and still under 200 lbs.) I was driving a compact Ford tractor with a front end loader up a shallow slope to the edge of a deep ditch to dump some dirt. I was going fairly fast, but I had plenty of experience on a similar tractor. As I got near the top I hit the brakes and guess what? No brakes.

Being the multi-tasking kinda guy I am, I had already started the bucket rolling forward to dump before I reached the peak, so as I rode the tractor forward down a steep 30' slope, the dumping dirt was blowing back in my face while I had a death grip on the steering wheel trying to keep the tractor straight and all my weight futilely down on the brake. The bucket hit the opposite bank so hard the hydraulic line for the bucket roll blew while I flipped up into a handstand on the steering wheel. My eyeglasses launched from my face and embedded in the mud above the bucket and I was pretty sure I would soon have them embedded somewhere in my anatomy. Fortunately, both arms, wrists and hands held and I settled back into the seat. My boss ran up to the edge of the ditch and asked if I was all right. Other than sore wrists and being coated in oily mud and dust, I was fine, so I told him so. He ripped his cigar out of his mouth and threw it at me  :D :D :D

He had to call a wrecker to pull the tractor out and then he couldn't use it till he fixed the hydraulic hose, but he gave me the next two hours off and bought me a beer at a bar on the way home (you could legally drink at 18 back then).

I drove the same tractor the next week and the brakes were fixed.

The lesson, of course, is to know your equipment and make sure it's safe. The secondary lesson is to duck when a lit cigar comes your way. :D :D


Cedar Eater

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2002, 06:14:33 PM »
After that last line I thought I was reading a post in the funny story thread :D
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Offline DanG

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2002, 08:03:38 PM »
Ya tend to think that brakes aren't important on a vehicle that only goes about 5mph. NOT!!!    When you need'em, you need'em RIGHT NOW. If you don't have'em, it's nice to know it, beforehand.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2002, 06:52:18 AM »
   Yes; after all my narrow escapes, I just make it a rule to test the brakes while in neutral territory- especially if it's a machine I haven't used recently, but I do it on my own stuff too.

  I can't remember if I told the story about how a multiflora rosebush saved my life once. If I have, I apologize, but your story so totally reminds me of it.. It was in WV, where I was learning about mowing hay on hillsides with that old Allis Chalmers. I was NEW and making mistakes by the scores. This was a doozy. The mower was just about a belly mower, with a pitmann arm as opposed to a pto It had none too much power. The gear box was cantankerous- had to double clutch sometimes, or come to a stop depending on your speed, to get it from neutral into gear. The brakes hadn't been overhauled, and the mower was none too sharp (prolly sharper than I tho..)

   So I was mowing going uphill, and the mower bound up. Now I'd learned that if I put er in neutral and revved up the engine, sometimes it would get the mower to break loose and then you just shift into gear and be off again. (You can already see where this is going.)

  So I flipped it into neutral, stood on the brakes, and cranked the engine. Of course, I lost forward power. And the brakes- of course- didn't hold. Mower may have broke free or not. At that moment it didn't matter, cuz the tractor was rolling backwards faster by the second. Of course it quickly got to a point where the crotchety gear shift wouldn't shift into gear.

  I didn't have the wit to jump OR drop the mower, which might have slowed me down. I was headed for a swampy spot in the pasture, and then the fence, and then a quick 1/8 mile to the bottom, over rocks and trees.

  FORTUNATELY the pasture still had 2 huge multiflora rose bushes and they were in my path- by some act of providence. I ripped right thru the first one, but the second wrapped itself in an all-encompassing embrace around me and the tractor. We weren't going NOWHERE.

  After I stopped shaking, I put it into low gear and drove out of there, ripping hide off by sections and thanking God the whole time for every blessed thorn and stout branch. I had to go back and get my hat.

  Then I fixed the brakes.   ::) ::) ::)   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Cedar Eater

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2002, 04:00:31 PM »
Wow lw! I never thought I would hear anything nice about stickerbushes (except for their beauty), but a life saved is worth more than a few scratches. When I lived in VA, it seemed like every deer shot went deep into the multiflora rosa and the greenbriar to croak, so I know how bad that was.
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2002, 08:03:25 PM »
Cedar Eater, yours causes me to recall, three tractors ago.  I had a Ford 1800 4 x 4 with a loader and bucket.  I had taken a winch (wench  :D) off of a duce and 1/2 and designed a 3 point system for the Ford.  I ran the winch with the pto.  
      Anyway, I was yarding logs off of a hill of about 65% .  I had run out about 40' of 5//8 line and set a choker on a fir of about 16" dbh and 32'.  As I began winching the log down the hill it had gotten hung up on a briar cover stump.  I lost my kool and jumped off the tractor and had not set the break.  I kicked the handle of the winch and everything broke loose.  I had also failed to place the pucket into the ground before I had gotten off the tractor.  All that was holding, tractor and log was the stump.  You never saw a 150' of 5/8 line come off a drum so fast in you life.  the tractor did not roll but the bucket cut two 6" fir in half at about 6' high when it came to a stop. :'(  The insurance paid of a new bucket of which was all that was needed.  I needed to remember to set the break and put the bucket down, especially on an incline. ;)
Frank Pender

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Things you don't want your tractor to do when
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2002, 06:05:52 PM »
   Yes, painful lessons will teach you. Memory of mistakes like that give me a little twinge every time and remind me to always, always go through those 2 steps you mention. And it's not just on a slope. It needs to be done on flat ground too.   :-[  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking


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