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Tractors - Front End Loaders

Why should you be careful when using a front end loader?

Tractors with front-end loaders are often involved in accidents. When a loader is raised, the tractor's centre of gravity is raised and moved forward. The tractor's stability is reduced; thus, increasing the chance of overturning.


What should you do when using a front end loader?

  • Ensure that everyone is well back from the tractor when operating a front-end loader.
  • Add recommended wheel ballast or counterweight.
  • Move wheels to widest recommended setting.
  • Travel with the load as close to the ground as conditions permit. (If the rear of the tractor lifts, the bucket will hit the ground before the tractor tips.)
Travel with the load as close to the ground as conditions permit
  • Operate controls from the operator's seat only.
  • Watch for overhead powerlines, depressions, obstructions, and uneven ground.
  • Operate and turn tractor at low speeds.
  • Avoid travelling downhill with a loaded bucket.
  • Drive the tractor in a straight line while loading the bucket. Keep the load in the bucket balanced.
  • Lower loader to the ground, stop the engine and lock the brakes before leaving operator's platform.
  • Travel in a straight line when raising the bucket to unload.
  • Go as close to the dump site as possible before raising the bucket.
Go as close to the dump site as possible before raising the bucket
  • Remove the loader from the tractor when not in use, if possible.

What should you avoid?

  • Do not try to load and turn at the same time. Hitting a solid object could easily overturn the tractor.
  • Do not turn with a load raised above the tractor. A quick turn can tip the tractor.
  • Do not allow anyone to ride or work in the bucket of a front-end loader.
  • Do not use the bucket as a work platform.
  • Do not stand or work under a raised loader.
  • Do not allow anyone to walk under bucket, even by accident.
  • Do not drive with an elevated load.
Do not drive with an elevated load
  • Do not leave loader in raised position.

Document last updated on February 25, 2002
Document confirmed current on August 2, 2012

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.