Follow Precautions To Prevent Rollovers

Jul 26, 2021
Rollovers account for about half of the approximately 200 tractor-related fatalities reported every year in the United States. Filling bunker silos and drive-over piles can pose serious risks. Always follow safety precautions to avoid rollovers.

  • Use safety equipment. Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) create a zone of protection around the tractor operator. When used with a seat belt, ROPS prevent the operator from being thrown from the protective zone and crushed.
  • Never fill bunker silos higher than the top of the wall. A straight drop off a bunker silo wall is a significant risk.
  • Install sight rails on above-ground walls. These rails show the tractor operator the location of the wall, but they aren't designed to hold an overturning tractor.
  • Install lights on the rail if you're going to be filling the bunker silo at night.
  • When filling a bunker silo or drive-over pile, form a progressive wedge of forage. This provides a safe slope for packing.
  • Maintain a minimum slope of 1-in-3 on the sides and ends of a drive-over pile.
  • Back tractors up steep slopes to prevent roll-backs.
  • Use low-clearance, wide front-end tractors equipped with well lugged tires to prevent slipping.
  • Never use large rectangular or round hay or straw bales for temporary bunker walls.
  • Add weights to the front and back of tractors to improve stability. (This will also improve packing efficiency.)
  • When using front-end loaders to move forage to the bunker or pile, do not carry the bucket any higher than necessary to help keep the center of gravity low.
  • When using two or more pack tractors, establish a driving procedure to prevent collisions.


David Cramer

Filed Under: AgronomyFeedGrainHarvestSafety