A front-end loader is a versatile and valuable tool on any tractor. However, improper operation of the tractor-loader combination can be hazardous. The center of gravity rises as the loader is raised and the stability of the tractor is affected. If not used according to the guidelines stated in the operator's manual, this can result in a potential tipping hazard for the tractor.
Remember to always refer to the operator's and safety manuals for advice on proper use of your equipment. Adopt and follow the motto "low and slow" when it comes to loader use.
Before Using Loader
- Install only loaders designed and approved by the tractor manufacturer.
- Never use a loader for removing fence-posts, towing or as a demolition tool.
- Check for underground utilities before digging below ground level.
- Use ballast or wheel weights to correctly balance the tractor and loader.
- Move wheels to the widest practical setting for more stability.
- Be familiar with operator's manuals for both the tractor and loader.
- Use loaders only for the jobs they're built to handle.
- Use a ROPS and wear a seatbelt.
While Using Loaders
- Don't exceed recommended load limits. Load the bucket evenly to prevent upsets, and make sure contents fit in bucket.
- Carry loads at a low height and slow speed, and never move or swing a load over people in the work area.
- Operate loaders only from the driver's seat, and never walk or work under a raised loader unless it is securely blocked or held in position.
- When working on inclines with a load, drive forward when going uphill. Back downhill with loads.
- After completing loader work, remove the bucket before using the tractor for other jobs, such as tillage operations.
After Using Loaders
- Lower loaders to ground when parked.
- Shut off engine and relieve hydraulic pressure when performing maintenance.
- Check to see that loaders are balanced and stable when detached, and park on a hard, level surface.