Farmers are adept at improvising, but that s not a good idea when hooking up old equipment to a new tractor.
I sit on the Canadian Standards Association committee for agricultural machinery and this has been a theme at a number of our meetings, the incompatibility of older implements and newer tractors, said Jim Wassermann, an engineer with the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.
That s why the institute was keen to help developSafe Implement Hitching a new 42-page guidebook that uses photos, illustrations and simple tables of data to show how to safely hitch older equipment to new tractors. The reader-friendly guidebook covers all types of connections including drawbar, three-point hitch, power take-off, hydraulic and electrical. Illustrations of proper hand signals for the workplace are also included.
The everyday task of hitching involves a number of risks, including hitch failure, tip-overs, and someone being crushed or injured while hitching.
Until now, there s never been a plain-language guide that lays out safe procedures for farmers to use, said Wassermann.
Right now, unless they ve got a current, well-written operators manual, they re just having to use common sense or perhaps develop their own procedures.
The guide is designed to supplement, not replace, operator manuals, said Wasserman.
Safe Implement Hitchingis available as a free, downloadable PDF at http://www.casa-acsa.ca/content/safe-implement- hitching-guide-safe-connection-agricultural-tractors- implements, www.aem.org and www.pami.ca.
It was developed with funding from the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and is also being made available to farm safety organizations across Canada and the USA.