Tractor mounting/dismounting biomechanics related to falls

Andrew S. Merryweather, Michael Pate, Sarvari Vemparala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Reports from the agricultural sector indicate a large proportion of injuries are associated with mounting and dismounting tractors. Virtually no data are available describing the interaction between step/handhold configurations and postural adaptations of operators during these important occupational tasks. This study was conducted to describe experienced tractor operator biomechanics while mounting and dismounting tractor cabs. Biomechanics data for five tractor models from 15 experienced male operators using a 5-camera video recording system were collected at two production sites in Idaho. All participants were questioned about falls and near falls while mounting and dismounting. Style of footwear worn, presence of environmental contaminants (rain, snow, ice, and mud) and other factors believed to have contributed to a fall were reported. Falls from mounting were reported by 57.1% of participants while 71.4% reported falls from dismounting. The 12 month period prevalence of having slipped or tripped, but not fallen was 1.5 ± 2.1 for mounting and 1.7 ± 2.8 for dismounting. Dismounting technique was largely a function of tractor model, but varied by individual. Observed postural adaptations and behavior changes related to step and handhold configurations appear to be most associated with technique, however tractor parameters including handhold location influenced preferred dismounting technique. Mounting/dismounting technique for two of the five tractors was markedly different from the others. Operator dismounting technique can likely be improved by increasing the awareness of fall hazards through training, warning labels, and by providing steps and handholds that afford a 3-point contact for safer navigation while descending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2011, ASABE 2011
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781618391568
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
EventAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2011 - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Aug 7 2011Aug 10 2011


OtherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLouisville, KY

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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