Neither do I Bob . I am concerned about people who do. I am also concerned about new owners of tractors with DIY loaders that are far too strong to be safe. Any loader can be dangerous, but I can't agree with designing in extra large lift capacities that compromise safety further. In my first post in this thread I encouraged the adoption or at least the consideration of the lift capacities available in new tractors. These limits are considerably lower than the numbers being spoken of here.
I have been asking myself why this issue is such a button pusher for me. One reason is the number of tractor accidents, some fatal, that occurred in the rural area where I grew up. It made me very cautious in my approach to tractors.
Second is my belief that designing in limits that stress safety over lift capacity is a good way to improve safety. When you rely on the operators judgement as the limiting factor there is a big problem. Judgement can be impaired by a number of human factors. Fatigue, distractions, ego and rushing to complete a job are a few of them. Reasonable designed in limits are there to help protect the operator when human factors cause a mistake to be made. This is a distinction that I thought needed to be brought out in this discussion.
Brian, I hear what you're saying about hot butons. I have more than my share of the darned things.
I agree in principal with what you are saying, but we can't put everyone in a rubber room to protect them. Who knows, the rubber may be found to be toxic 5 years from now.
In my immediately prior post, I referred to my first GT, a MF12H, and the FEL that I installed on it. The FEL was originally on a GE ElekTrac garden tractor from the late '60s or early '70s. The only thing that I changed in the hydraulic system was the pump. No adjustments of relief pressure or any modifications to other components other than a subframe to mate it to the MF 12H. That very same FEL now resides on my MF1655, again with modifications to the subframe to mate to the larger chassis and NO mods or adjustments to the hydraulic system. On the GE, it was rated for a 350 lb lift, as installed with ballast on the 12H it would lift up to 700 lb before losing traction and on the 1655 it has lifted and transported 1400 lb on a flat asphalt drivway, all with the original relief pressure setting from the factory. It took me 3 years of careful experimentation with the 12H to find the limitations and capabilities of the FEL. After using it for 7 years, I installed an identical FEL on my 1655. That FEL has since failed due to rust and was replaced with the one from the 12H. I believe that any thinking adult will go through the same careful learning process.
If you constantly provide safeguards to prevent acidents and or injuries, there is no possibility for people to learn how to think and operate safely if the situation arises where those safeguards are not in place. They are trained to rely on the safeguards, not their experience and intelligence. Judgement of risks is how we survive. If our judgement fails and we survive, we're unlikely to make the same mistake again and can pass on the knowledge. That's how we live to be old farts with experience.
Accidents happen. It's a fact of life from a babies first step on. We cannot prevent them, but we can learn from them and put procedures into place to limit them, but if we eliminate them, we eliminate the valuable experience and knowledge that comes with them, like learning how to walk or ride a bike, or how to operate a FEL. How much of our current medical and technical knowledge came from dangerous work practices over the last few centuries? With todays mindset for safety, a lot of that knowledge would not be available.
Guess what? We hit one of my hot buttons. I'll stop now.
Edited by TUDOR, January 17, 2012 - 01:29 AM.