12 Tractor Safety Guidelines Maintained Tractor Grease fitting Save an engine from costly repairs; check the fuel, coolant, and oil levels before starting the engine. D. Preventive Maintenance Performing maintenance is a critical task for every tractor operator. Keeping the tractor in good repair is an important part of safety. • Read and follow safety procedures in the manufacturer’s manual, for specific maintenance schedules and requirements. • Make sure the engine is turned off and key out of ignition when performing maintenance. • During the repair of any machinery, use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) matched to the hazard encountered (goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and safety shoes). Baggy clothing should be avoided, as it can be caught in rotating machine parts. • Make sure to replace any guards removed during equipment repair. • When preparing to work on a piece of equipment, chock the wheels to prevent movement. Jacks should be placed on a flat, hard surface, be in good condition and designed and rated for the load to be suspended. • Brakes, hitches, safety chains, springs, and shackles should be inspected regularly for wear, broken or missing parts, cracked welds and excessive debris (mud, manure, rust). Fuel, Oil, Coolant, and Lubrication • Check for water or sediment in the fuel line sediment bowl and drain as needed. • Add a fuel conditioner to keep both gasoline and diesel fuel stable. • Check the engine oil, transmission fluid, and hydraulic oil. • Add engine oil as needed. Low engine oil levels can be an indicator of other problems. • Change the engine oil per the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. • Check the radiator fluid level. Gradual loss of fluids over time can be expected, however, if a significant loss is noted, a more serious problem like coolant leaking into the engine oil may exist. • Never remove a radiator cap from a hot engine. Steam and hot fluids can scald your skin. • Using a hydrometer, test the engine coolant for level of temperature protection. • Check the radiator screen for accumulation and clear as necessary.