Stuck in the mud?
Practice safe towing
When a wet spring or heavy rains hamper planting season, getting equipment stuck in the mud is a frustrating situation. Safe towing practices are required to prevent damage to machinery or injury to operators. Here are some tips:
- Select a proper towing device. Don’t grab the ﬁrst rope or chain you ﬁnd in the shop and use it as a towing device. A long towing chain designed to support the towed load is recommended over nylon ropes or cables. Chains will break at their weakest point, so check welds and hooks prior to use. Serious, disabling injuries and deaths have occurred when a towing device failed.
- Attach the towing device to the pulling vehicle properly. If using a tractor, attach the towing device to the drawbar. Truck bumpers are not recommended attachment points, as the pulling forces may take off the bumper and the bumper then becomes a ﬂying object.
- Clear the area of unnecessary bystanders.
- Initiate the towing process with caution. Double-check all attachments to see that they are secure. Each operator should understand the situations that will stop the towing process. When the towing process begins, apply power smoothly without jerking. At the slightest sign of danger, the towing process should be stopped.
Remember, the safest way to pull a stuck machine is always to use proper pulling equipment in good condition, attach it properly and apply power slowly.