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How to Avoid Tractor Runovers and Collisions

We want to help you avoid tractor runovers and collisions.

If you do not feel that you understand these steps, or can perform them safely, consult your tractor dealer or local mechanic. Also always consult your tractor owner’s manual for model-specific information.

Let’s get started.


This brief article will discuss the causes and types of runover and collision accidents.

The reality is that you can be injured or killed if you are run over by a tractor. The same can happen if you collide with another object while driving.


Runover accidents can easily occur.

They can happen when:

  • A passenger falls off the tractor.

  • A bystander gets run over.

  • The operator is run over while attempting to start the tractor or use the controls while not in the operator’s seat.

  • The operator is knocked out of the seat by an obstacle like a low-hanging tree branch.

  • The operator falls out of the seat when the tractor hits an obstacle like a boulder or tree stump.

Collisions can also easily occur.

The tractor can easily hit an unseen object at any time – causing a serious injury or death.

They can happen when:

  • The tractor collides with an obstacle and the operator is thrown from the tractor.

  • The operator is struck by an obstacle.

  • The tractor collides with an obstacle and then rolls over.

Operator Runovers and Collisions

The safest place for the tractor operator is in the operator’s seat with their seat belt buckled.

You can be seriously injured or killed if you attempt to operate a tractor from the ground or another location on the tractor. This may seem fundamental, but it does happen.


  • During maintenance --- make sure to block all hydraulic attachments, place controls in neutral, and use approved hoists and jacks.

  • Never leave the operator’s platform with the engine running.

  • Never start a tractor by shorting across the starter terminals.

Bystander Runovers and Collisions

Make sure all operating procedures are followed.

By not doing so --- coworkers, maintenance personnel, and other bystanders can be seriously injured or killed.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Never let anyone stand between the tractor and an attachment or implement. They could be run over or crushed between the tractor and attachment or implement.

  • If a coworker is helping you guide the tractor --- make sure they are a safe distance away from the equipment.

  • Check all around the tractor before starting it or moving.

  • Keep all bystanders and coworkers at a safe distance away while you operate the tractor.

  • If an attachment or implement is blocking your view --- shut down the equipment and walk around it to make sure nobody is in the area.

Passenger Runovers and Collisions

Anyone that is not in the operator’s seat is in danger of falling and being run over.

Human reaction time is too slow for a driver to react to a passenger fall.

To stay safer:

  • Never allow passengers on the operator’s lap.

  • Use only approved passenger attachments.

  • Watch for collision hazards.

  • Check your work area for hidden obstacles (tree stumps, boulders, rocks, hidden machinery). Tall grass makes this more difficult.

  • Never allow extra riders on a tractor.

  • Do not allow anyone to ride or stand on the drawbar, axle housing, side links of a three-point hitch, rear-wheel fenders, or the implements/attachments.

Beware and Aware of Obstacles Tractors without cabs can be very dangerous.

The operator can be crushed or thrown out of the driver's seat during a collision.


  • Maintain a clear line of sight.

  • Keep the windows and mirrors clean and in good repair.

  • Keep the attachments low to the ground so you can see over them.

  • Use a guide to direct your path when an attachment or implement blocks your view.

  • Always wear your safety belt.

  • Check the work area before you begin.

  • Note all potential obstacles.

  • Make sure you have adequate clearance through narrow passages, doorways, and other openings.

Safe Backing Procedures Backing up a tractor can be tricky.

Before backing up, make sure the work area is clear of people and obstacles.

Keep in mind:

  • When an implement blocks your view, ask a coworker to guide you.

  • Keep the guide in your line of sight, but far enough away that he or she cannot be run over.

  • Consult the tractor, attachment, and implement owner’s manuals for the proper backing techniques.

  • Make sure the seat and all the controls are properly adjusted.

  • Drivers often shift slightly as they turn in the seat to reverse --- this causes the feet or hands to lose contact with the controls.

Hopefully, this short article helped you better understand how to avoid runovers and collisions so you and everyone around you can avoid injuries and possibly a fatality.

If you need any further help or have any questions about safety, tractors, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

Team Tractor Ranch - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.

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