A Sad Couple of Weeks in Vermont
I am very sad to report that there have been two tractor roll-over deaths and the death of a young man that was run over by a milk truck in the last two weeks in Vermont.
On November 3rd, Gary Miller, age 69, of Poultney died when he was pinned under his tractor. Mr. Miller was widening his driveway when the tractor slipped down an embankment and rolled.
On November 12, Charles “Pete” Wilde, age 75, of Guilford died in a tractor accident. Mr. Wilde was driving his tractor with an attached trailer up a steep hill; the tractor pitched backwards, ejecting him and pinning him between the tractor and the trailer.
Did either of these tractors have Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS)? I don’t know. I do know that having ROPS on your tractor and wearing the seatbelt is 99% effective in preventing tractor rollover fatalities. A tractor roll-over can occur in the blink of an eye; there is no time for the operator to respond. It is vitally important to have ROPS and wear the seatbelt.
The Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program (1-877-767-7748) provides 70% rebates for any tractor owner in Vermont on roll bar kits after registering with the hotline. More than 70 tractors have been retrofitted in the first year of the program. I encourage you to go to the Vermont ROPSr4U website and watch the videos of tractor overturns. While watching, notice how quickly the overturns happen and how the ROPS work. This website is a wealth of information; check it out.
The Vermont Rebates for Roll Bars Program is able to offer rebates due to the generous donations made to the ROPS Retrofit Fund from individuals and organizations across Vermont, with the lead sponsor being Co-Operative Insurance Company. Those interested in donating can make checks out to the ROPS Retrofit Fund and send them to UVM Extension, 29 Sunset Drive, Morrisville, VT 05661. 100% of the donations go to Vermont tractor owners. For more information, call Matt Myers, ROPS Program Coordinator at 802-888-4972 x404.
I know there are a lot of older tractors around Vermont without Roll Over Protective Structures. Now is the time to correct the situation, protecting yourself and your whole family.