We want to help you stay safe when operating your tractor in extreme heat.
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.
Summer is coming. And, in many areas --- heat is already dialed up and in full swing.
There are some heat-related illnesses and hazards that are important to know about before you operate a tractor.
The harsh reality is that you can become seriously ill or die if you do not take the proper precautions while working outdoors in high temperatures and/or humidity.
Heat tends to reduce physical and mental performance. This can quickly cause a serious accident.
Heat-related illness starts with heat exhaustion. If it is not given proper attention, it can lead to heat stroke.
Act immediately if you notice anyone with symptoms of any heat-related illness.
Heat-related illnesses are real and need to be avoided at all costs.
Here are a few ways to help prevent a heat-related illness:
Wear light-weight fabric (cotton) to help control your body temperature.
Wear a hat or sun visor on sunny days to help control the body's temperature.
Plan to do the heaviest work at the coolest part of the day (6am-10am).
Take frequent, short breaks in a shaded area to cool down.
Do not take salt tablets, unless recommended by your doctor.
Drink water often throughout the day. At least a quart of water per hour is recommended.
Stay away from soda, coffee, tea, and alcoholic drinks.
Avoid large meals before working in the heat.
Some prescriptions can make you more susceptible to heat illnesses. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Sometimes heat-related illnesses come on fast. This may happen to someone you are working with.
Here are a few things you can do:
Have the person drink plenty of fluids.
If the person goes into convulsions or shows symptoms of heat stroke --- soak their clothes with cool water and call for help immediately.
If someone feels overheated, move them to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned area. Watch the person closely and seek medical attention.
Fan the person to cool them down.
There are some interesting facts regarding heat.
They may come in handy some time.
Here they are:
You are more vulnerable to heat illness if you have suffered from it in the past.
During the day, you can produce as much as 2-3 gallons of sweat. (Replenish this fluid by drinking liquids throughout the day.)
You are more likely to suffer from a heat-related illness on humid days.
If you are not used to working in the heat, you are more likely to suffer from a heat-related illness.
It can take your body anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks to become acclimated to working in the heat.
It is recommended that you start out by working half of the normal time and workload on the first day and then build up to a complete day by the end of the week.
There are two heat-related illnesses to be aware of. They can both lead to a serious injury or even a fatality.
The first is heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion is a serious illness. It needs to be treated immediately before a heat stroke occurs.
If you or a coworker experience any of the following symptoms, cool off immediately, drink plenty of water, and contact a physician.
Here are the typical symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Feeling weak and fatigued
Clammy and moist skin
The second illness is heat stroke.
Heat Stroke is a medical emergency. It can become fatal.
If anyone experiences the symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 immediately.
Here are the typical symptoms of heat stroke:
Body temperature greater than 105° F
Hot, dry, red skin (not sweaty)
Keep in mind just how powerful the sun is.