Preven­ta­tive Safety Prac­tices for Avoid­ing ATV Rollovers

The Drumheller Mail - - AGSAFE FAMILY - Amy Peth­er­ick

All ter­rain ve­hi­cles (ATV) can be not only use­ful on the farm, they can add an el­e­ment of fun to work. Whether us­ing ATVs recre­ation­ally or as the best way to get to re­mote back fields, the Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Safety As­so­ci­a­tion’s “Ap­peal­ing to Adults” Cana­dian Ag Safety Week cam­paign urges farm­ers to pro­tect them­selves against rollovers.

Rollovers hap­pen alarm­ingly fast. That’s why it’s im­por­tant for ev­ery­one to take rollover pre­ven­tion se­ri­ously, each and ev­ery time they plan a ride.

Al­ways re­mem­ber to wear an ATV hel­met, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and boots, even when only trav­el­ling a short dis­tance. In­ap­pro­pri­ate gear, such as loose cloth­ing, can get caught on con­trols and doesn’t pro­vide pro­tec­tion. Next, check over the ma­chine. Make sure you have enough fuel, top up en­gine oil if nec­es­sary, and en­sure all brakes, lights and gauges are in good work­ing or­der. If you’re go­ing to be trans­port­ing farm sup­plies, make sure they are prop­erly tied-down. Don’t for­get to look over any trailer or im­ple­ment that is hitched to the ATV. Ev­ery ma­chine is sub­ject to load lim­its which can be found in the owner’s man­ual.. Re­mem­ber to con­sider how that weight is dis­trib­uted and cor­rect any in­equal­i­ties.

Any load, even one well dis­trib­uted, will im­pact the sta­bil­ity of the ve­hi­cle. Drive ac­cord­ingly. Main­tain a speed which can be con­trolled at all times and look ahead for haz­ards. Over-con­fi­dence, high rates of speed, and steep slopes are the pri­mary con­trib­u­tors to ATV rollovers.

When rid­ing alone, tell some­one else what routes you will be tak­ing and when to ex­pect your re­turn. It’s a good idea to carry a safety kit that in­cludes a flash­light, some ba­sic first aid sup­plies, a sound­ing de­vice or flares, and take a cell phone or two way ra­dio. (Make sure that your com­mu­ni­ca­tions de­vice will work in the area you’re trav­el­ling to – cell phone sig­nals aren’t guar­an­teed ev­ery­where.) Plan to be home be­fore dark and in case of bad weather, leave the ATV parked as both low light and re­duced vis­i­bil­ity in­crease the chance of a mishap. Don’t be tempted to go back for the ma­chine in bad con­di­tions..

Adult-sized ATVs are not ap­pro­pri­ate for chil­dren un­der 16. Any­one driv­ing an ATV should re­ceive train­ing. A few hours in an ATV course could save your life. Visit agsafe­ty­week.ca for more re­sources in­clud­ing tool­box talks on op­er­at­ing por­ta­ble augers, safe han­dling of cat­tle and more.

About Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Safety Week:

Cana­dian Agri­cul­tural Safety Week (CASW) is a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign fo­cus­ing on the im­por­tance of farm safety. CASW takes place ev­ery year dur­ing the third week of March. In 2017, CASW takes place March 12 to 18. CASW 2017 is pre­sented by Farm Credit Canada. For more in­for­ma­tion visit agsafe­ty­week.ca.

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