Fred Whitford, Purdue University safety coordinator, believes so strongly in following proper procedure for freeing stuck farm equipment that he authored a publication, PPP-98, Extracting Stuck Equipment Safely.
Yesterday's local news piece featured the first 14 steps. It's all about being cautious and remaining calm, and not doing anything you would regret if something goes wrong, Whitford says.
Here are the final steps, including finally actually removing the stuck farm equipment.
*Make sure the attachment points will hold under pressure.
*Ask the stuck driver to attach devices – this is especially critical if you're a "good samaritan"
*Use your own equipment, like chains or straps, if you're being pulled out.
*Keep sharp edges away from towing devices, especially if you're using straps.
*Hook from the bottom so if hook breaks, it will fall to the ground, not launch into the air.
*Place clevis directly on equipment, with strap or rope on pin of clevis.
*Place something heavy on the strap, chain cable or rope, like a cable blanket.
*Protect windshields. For example, open tool box lid in back of truck to cover window.
*Remove nonessential people from the danger zone.
*Get the stuck implement to help if you can; it will break the suction faster.
*Give instructions to the stuck driver first so everyone knows the game plan.
*Always start in first or low gear.
*Pull straight ahead to maximize towing power.
*Apply power slowly and smoothly. If you use a cable or chain, take slack out first.
If all went well, the farm implement is now out of the mud, and you can concentrate on helping the driver realize when there is a chance he could get stuck, and avoiding those situations. The first priority once someone is stuck, however, is to get them, and the farm machinery, out safely without damaging equipment or hurting anyone.