How to Prevent a Tractor Rollover

Sep 12, 2019 1 min read

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 250 people are killed each year in tractor accidents. Rollovers count for more than half of these fatalities. Here are some tips on how to prevent a tractor rollover accident.

Side Tractor Rollovers

About 85 percent of tractor rollovers are side rollovers. The major causes of side rollovers are:

  • Driving too close to an incline or embankment
  • Driving too fast around a curve
  • Driving the tractor with a loaded front-ended loader while it is raised
  • Uneven breaking
  • Losing control of the tractor because of a heavy load on the drawbar

Tractor manufacturers prevent side rollovers by designing features and options that widen that base of stability and lower the tractor’s center of gravity. Some of the features are:

  • Wide front-end design
  • Adjustable rear wheel width and dual wheel tractors
  • Wide tires
  • Ability to lock brakes together
  • Fixed drawbar height

To reduce your chance of a side rollover you should practice road safety measures :

  • Drive at appropriate speeds
  • Set wheel tread as wide as you can
  • Stay away from steep slopes, ditches and embankments
  • Keep your front-end loaded buckets low during transport and turns
  • Lock your brakes together when traveling at higher speeds
  • Drive forward down steep slopes and back up them
  • Slow down when pulling rear-mounted equipment

Rear Tractor Rollovers

Rear rollovers are particularly dangerous because they happen so quickly which gives you little time to react. From the time the tractor begins to roll over, the incident can take as little as 1.5 seconds.

Tractor rollover protective structures (ROPS) exist in some equipment to minimize injury or prevent death. Some design features that lower the risk of rear rollovers are standard on newer tractors, but some are optional or for specific circumstances to maintain the proper weight balance. These include: 

  • Rear-wheel weights
  • Tire ballasts
  • Front-end weights
  • Fixed drawbar height

You can reduce your risk of rear tractor rollover by:

  • Keeping your font-end loader buckets low when pulling rear-mounted loads
  • Adding front-end weights when raising heavy remounted equipment
  • Backing up steep hills and driving forward down steep hills
  • Hitching loads only to the drawbar, never above the drawbar


Follow these tips to help keep you safe from a tractor rollover. Reach out to your Farm Bureau agent if you have any questions or want to know how your farm vehicle equipment is covered.

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