New tractor safety bumper to prevent crash fatalities
25th May 2021
The new Tractor Shield bumper has been designed to help increase the safety of agricultural machines for all road users.
Sadly tractors are involved in fatal crashes every year, most recently in April 2021 a young farmer, Caroline Rennie, 21, was killed in a crash. Unfortunately the size and design of tractors means that when they are involved in accidents the results are devastating. Other road users are not always aware of the size of tractors, nor the vulnerability of those driving them. Safety is something farmers have to think about whenever entering the road.
Like most contractors, crop spraying specialists EC Farm Contractors, based on the Northamptonshire Cambridgeshire boarder, regularly travel long distances on roads to the different farms they serve.
Concern for his staff, and others on the road, has led to owner Edward Crocker taking steps to make his vehicles the safest they can be. Alongside regular Tilly testing for his trailers, Edward is going the extra mile to ensure road safety. Having recently designed and manufactured a tractor safety bumper, appropriately called the Tractor Shield.
The new bumper helps improve visibility for other road users and helps prevent vehicles becoming lodged under heavier machinery, in the event of a front collision.The Tractor Shield bumper is designed to help increase the safety of agricultural machines for all road users. Although it is not currently a legal requirement in the UK, this type of safety aid is widely used in Europe. The aim is that the Tractor Shield will help protect oncoming traffic and the tractor operator.
Whilst the general public may think of tractors as slow moving, and only found blocking country lanes. The truth is that tractors are becoming larger, faster and travelling longer distances. They are also being used for an increasing number of purposes involving road use, so road safety is becoming increasingly important as a result.
Conventional tractors have two headlights in the front of the bonnet, close together with small cab side marker lights which are narrower than the tractor wheels. Unfortunately this design means that other road users can not gage the true width of the tractor. This effect is only made worse at night and at times of poor visibility. Farming is an all weather, 24/7, career, so tractors can not always avoid being out at times they might not be as easily seen.
Now being manufactured here in the UK, the Tractor Shield has been designed with this in mind. Clearly highlighting the full width of the machine with the use of outer reflective chevron markers, LED daytime running lights and amber flashing strobes. These help other road users judge the width of the oncoming tractor earlier and pass with greater confidence.
If a collision does occur between a car and a tractor, in most cases the car will go beneath the tractor wheels and bonnet, crushing the windscreen and roof of the car (under run). This naturally makes crashes with tractors incredibly dangerous, with higher fatalities than other road accidents.
The Tractor Shield has taken this into consideration and will help to prevent under run by shielding the front wheels and bonnet. The bumper will take the brunt of impact protecting both the tractor and other driver. The more sudden impact of hitting the bumper will activate a cars safety features such as air bags and impact zones.
Hopefully farmers installing additional safety measures to their tractors will help prevent future fatalities. Unfortunately there will always be accidents on roads, but with new equipment like the Tractor Shield they needn’t be as devastating.