4 easy steps for tractor and combine safety

Farm Forum

Once again, harvest season is upon us. That means getting up early, leaving late, and reaping the benefits off all the hard work you put in this season. However, it is important to remember the dangers of the harvest season, the major one being fires.

Tractor and combine fires are major danger for farmers’ lives and livelihoods. A fire can happen in early morning or midnight and any time in between. To help you prevent and combat tractor and combine fires, we have these recommendations:

1. Keep your tractor and combine clean – and clean it often! Fires are often caused by debris clogging up parts in the machinery. To combat this, make sure you clean hard to reach places to prevent build up. Clean multiple times if necessary!

2. Consistently check equipment systems. Electrical wires can get worn; tubes and hoses can crack. It’s important that you check and replace any worn or damaged parts as soon as possible.

3. Make sure your cooling systems and lubrication schedules are consistent and maintained.

4. Always keep fire extinguishers in your tractor or combine. We recommend you have an automatic extinguisher installed, in addition to a fire extinguisher in the cab, near the engine, and the back of your combine or tractor:

• Make sure you refill fire extinguishers after you use them. A fire extinguisher does no good if it’s empty! Also, some insurance companies will give you benefits for having fire extinguishers on your equipment.

Even with the most preventative measures, fires can still happen, and it’s important to know what to do in case of one. The most likely places for fires to ignite is in the engine, usually caused by debris, and by any belts or pulleys that have moving parts, which can break off or become dislodged.

In the event of a fire:

1. Shut down your machine and close any fuel valves if you can. If you have a manual fire extinguisher in your cab, set it off. If not, exit and do not reenter the cab.

2. If the fire is small, use a fire extinguisher to put it out:

• Try not to open any doors or compartment, as it could cause the fire to grow.

• Shoot the fire extinguisher agent into small openings near the fire to put it out.

• Allow time for the tractor or combine to cool down, especially where the fire is. After a good amount of cool-down time, check to determine where the fire started and if any additional damage was caused.

3. If the fire is not containable, call 9-1-1. Do not re-enter the cab, and do not open any doors or hatches.

No piece of equipment is worth your life. If the fire is unable to be contained, do not try to contain it anyway. You are worth more than the equipment.

At AKE Safety Equipment, we want you to be as protected as you can be. STOP-FYRE has saved countless combines and tractors. Regardless if you purchase our extinguishers or not, we just want you to be safe and prepared this harvest season.