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Rollover training tractor unveiled

The collaboration by three Manitoba groups is aimed at building a safer farm sector

A new agriculture safety tool to train operators to prevent tractor rollovers has been unveiled by a Manitoba collaboration.

The University of Manitoba (UM), Red River College (RRC) and Keystone Agricultural Producers, demonstrated the Mini Roll Over Training Tractor (Mini ROTT) at the UM’s Glenlea Research Station on July 16. The teaching vehicle will help predict, teach and demonstrate tractor rollovers.

Approximately the size of an average lawn tractor, but with the appearance of a traditional tractor, the radio-controlled Mini ROTT will be used for teaching and demonstration of rollovers and activities that will enhance students’ and farmers’ understanding of farm safety practices.

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“We look forward to using this innovative tool to further promote the need for safety awareness and training across our sector to reduce the risk of serious injury in the operation of tractors and large equipment on farms across the province,” Bill Campbell, KAP president, said in a media release.

The project was initiated by the UM’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to supplement hands-on safety workshops developed for diploma students and farmers. The UM teamed up with KAP’s Manitoba Farm Safety Program staff to explore the concept of a remote-controlled tractor as an interactive training tool for teaching rollover prevention strategies.

UM and KAP then engaged with RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM) and Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) for the fabrication process. The research staff at TACAM designed and built the tractor, with support from the VTEC team on the electronics and systems control components.

The Mini ROTT will be housed at the Glenlea Research Station and utilized for farm safety training for post-secondary students and Manitoba farmers. The Manitoba Farm Safety Program and UM staff plan to collaborate on expanded tractor training and develop programs aimed at creating a safer agri-food industry.

Rollovers, falls and contact with tractor attachments are the leading causes of injury and death to farm tractor operators, according to SAFE Work Manitoba.

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