Tractor Moving Large Round Bale on Loader Forks Overturned onto Farmer

Iowa Case Report: 05IA013
Report Date: August 17, 2007

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


A 51-year-old male farmer was moving a large round bale of hay from a delivery trailer to a hoop-style manger in his cattle yard. The tractor had a narrow front axle with a front-end loader attached to the tractor’s frame. The tractor did not have a roll-over protective structure (ROPS) installed on it. The bale was held high by the homemade forks mounted to the loader’s lift arms. The yard sloped downhill and to the right ahead of the tractor. The tractor’s left rear wheel came off the ground as the tractor moved forward then tipped to the right and continued to overturn onto its top. The driver of the delivery truck, and the farmer’s friend who was tending the gate to the cattle yard, rushed to extricate the farmer who was pinned face down in the muck under the left rear wheel of the overturned tractor. Emergency assistance was summoned immediately and law enforcement personnel arrived within ten minutes. Continued resuscitation efforts by emergency medical responders were unsuccessful and the farmer was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015