Older, used tractors may not come with the same safety features as newer models, although farmers in the Northeast may soon have an option at an affordable upgrade for their machines.
According to the Associated Press, a program started in New York to rebate some of the costs of installing roll bars and seat belts into used tractors is being fanned out into Vermont and Pennsylvania. It will probably be offered in New Hampshire as well.
Through the program, used tractor owners can have 70 percent of equipment upgrade costs reimbursed, which can save as much as $765. They can also use a toll-free number to find out what type of safety equipment matches their particular machine.
"I'm convinced this is a program that will not only save lives but livelihoods throughout this state," Brad Fortier told the wire service.
Cooperative Insurance Companies of Middlebury, of which Fortier is a member, donated $45,000 to the upgrade program in Vermont.
Regardless of the type of new or used tractor they operate, farm equipment owners are encouraged to have a working knowledge of their fields. Doing so can help prevent accidents tied to changes in terrain.