Tractors - Servicing

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What should you know before servicing a tractor?

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  • 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?

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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?

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  • 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?

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  • 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

  • Fact sheet confirmed current: 2024-01-11
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2012-08-02