Ready to host a hayride on your farm? Make sure you’re following these safety guidelines from the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation to assure your hayride wagon is ready to go!
- At the beginning of each day, inspect tractors and hayride wagons for safe and efficient operation. Check the hitch and make sure safety chains are in use.
- The tractor pulling the hayride must weigh more than the gross weight of the heaviest wagon it will tow. This is necessary for adequate traction and braking.
- Check the hay wagon and repair loose boards and railings, sharp edges and exposed screws and nails.
- Have sturdy steps with handrails for easy loading and unloading of passengers.
- Have a responsible adult with a valid driver’s license operate the tractor.
- Choose the route carefully. Make sure it does not have steep grades or other hazards that can affect the stability of the tractor or hay wagon.
- Do not travel on or across public roads and highways. If offering sleigh rides in the winter, do not travel on or cross snowmobile trails.
- Drive slowly and do not tow more than one wagon.
- Never allow riders on the tractor.
- The hay wagon should have railings and seating. It is especially important to have a sturdy railing in the front of the wagon to prevent riders from falling forward and being inadvertently run over. No one should be allowed to hang their feet over the edge of the wagon.
- Do not allow standing on or crawling around the wagon. Jumping on and off the moving wagon should be forbidden. The operator of the hayride should be prepared to stop at the request of passengers.
- Clearly state safety rules to passengers and children once they are seated and ready to begin the hayride.
Photo courtesy of Southern Maryland This is Living