Cutting grass on slopes and bankings can eb a dangerous procedure, if correct precautions are not taken. It is important to understand the main course of accidents on slopes and basic precautionary measures to prevent such accident.
Main causes of accidents on slopes
- Tipping of machine due to it exceeding its safe working angle on slopes.
- Tipping of machine due to overloading, driving too steep on a slopes, or implement being carried too high on a three-point linkage.
- Loss of control due to the forward speed increasing faster that the rotation of the wheels causing 'tobogganning' effect'. This is usually caused by driving on too steep a slope, poor condition of tyres or too heavy a load.
- Tipping or loss of control caused by lifting units whilst on a slope with self-propelled cylinders mowers and Batwing mowers.
- Carry out a risk assessment for each specific job.
- Evaluate safe working angles and machine suitability.- always stay within the manufacturer's guidelines for safe working angles for your machine. Use a Tiltmaster inclinometer to find out the angle of the slope.
- Evaluate ground condition - Understand the effects of various changes in ground condition on your machine's stability and traction e.g. long wet grass, short grass with grass clippings on the surface, soft, hard or loose surfaces, dips or rabbit holes etc. It is up to you to evaluate whether the ground conditions are safe for working on or not.
- Ensure your machine is maintained as per the manufacturer's recommendations - e.g. tyres must be in good condition with the correct pressures.
- Be awar ethat when ROPS are fitted, the stability of the machine is reduced; always check the manufacturer's specification - Rude-on machines fitted with ROPS should have lap belts. Do not use restraining belts without ROPS being fitted.
- Ensure 4-wheel drive is engaged (if fitted) before you access a slope or banking.
- Understand the use of differential locks when they are appropriate to use.
- When working on a slope, operate the machine as if on ice: no sudden speed or direction change.
- Do not lift or lower units whilst on a slope.
- At the end of each run, always turn the heaviest part of the mower (eg. mower deck) facing uphill.
SGM supply a wide range of slope mowers specifically designed for grass cutting on bankings and slopes.