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Tractors - Servicing

What should you know before servicing a tractor?

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for servicing and lubrication.
  • Shut off the engine and set park brake before leaving the operator's platform to adjust, re-fuel, lubricate, clean or unclog machine.
  • Wait until all moving parts have stopped before inspecting or servicing.
  • Check hydraulic lines, belts and hoses, electrical wiring, braking system, and steering system thoroughly. Repair as required.
  • Block hydraulically-operated equipment and release the line pressure on hydraulics before disconnecting fittings. Refer to OSH Answers: Tractors - Maintenance.
  • Replace all guards and shields securely after servicing.
  • Replace defective lights, warning signals and signs.
  • Check roll-over protective structure (ROPS) for cracks and corrosion.
  • Keep exhaust and muffler system in good repair.
  • Shut off the engine before checking the water level in the battery to prevent the battery from "spitting" acid.

What should you know before checking the radiator?

The engine cooling system is pressurized at operating temperature. If this pressure is released quickly, the liquid will turn to steam and forcefully blow out the cooling system.

  • Let the engine cool before checking the coolant level.
  • Remove the radiator cap very slowly when the engine is hot.
  • Protect your hand by using a rag over the radiator cap.

What should you do when refuelling a tractor?

  • Post "No Smoking" signs in all fuel storage and handling areas.
No smoking sign
  • Have fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment near.
Fire extinguisher
  • Shut off engine and allow it to cool.
  • Fuel tractor outside. Store fuel outside and away from buildings. Keep area free of vegetation or other burnable material.
  • Position yourself so you cannot slip.
  • Remove the fuel cap slowly, holding it at the semi-locked position until pressure is released.
  • Keep the nozzle in the filler opening for a few moments after shutting off fuel flow to allow the nozzle to empty.
  • Check that the filter cap vent is not clogged before replacing the filter cap.
  • Allow fuel to evaporate before closing hood that covers fuel tank.

What should you avoid doing?

  • Do not smoke or have an open flame while refuelling. Gas fumes are heavier than air and will drift downward. The vapour, not the liquid, burns.
  • Do not spill any fuel on a tractor. If you do, wipe it up and allow any residue to dry before starting the engine.
  • Do not run if your clothing catches fire. Drop to the ground and roll slowly or wrap yourself in a blanket.
Drop to the ground

Document last updated on August 2, 2012
Document confirmed current on September 15, 2017

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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.