Thanks for the reminder to watch over our head when running running our tractors. Admitting our mistakes may lead to a bit of embarrassment and future kidding but if it helps someone else avoid an accident or injury it is worth that bit of humiliation. With that said I will share my not-so-little boo-boo. Two weeks ago when I was at the local strawberry festival I was getting ready to start the dually Cub after the show to take it to the loading area. I did what we should never do. I forgot to shake hands with the shifter.
Luckily there were no spectators and nothing was in front. I was able to hit the shifter in time to knock it out of gear. I made a mental note that I needed to kick myself in the pants when I got home (surprisingly, I didn't need to change them).
The following day I backed Harley Cub out side the garage while I tinkered with a few things on him. Rosie came out to watch and she pulled up a stool and sat in the shop where Harley was parked. When I finished, I went to start Harley while standing in front of the right rear tire. Harley starts with a key and the starter spins the pto shaft from the rear to crank over, meaning the pto has to be engaged to start it. I reached over to engage the pto and turned the key. Harley's ignition system allows him to start instantly. What did I do or not do? In putting the pto in gear from the position I was in I inadverently assumed I shook hands with a standard Cub, when I actually had only engaged the pto.
With a turn of the key Harley roared to life and lunged forward with the tire pushing me forward.
I hung onto him and tried to push in the stop switch. Well go figure, this is not a regular Cub, it has no on/off switch. Not thinking fast enough to remember there is a key switch, I hung on to the steering wheel with one hand to keep my feet off the ground and grabbed for the shifter with the other, all the while the right rear tire cleat is grabbing at my back pocket. I got it stopped after it moved about six to eight feet (you could see where my feet moved gravel as they slid along). It came to reast with the front tires back inside the shop. When I looked up to see Rosie I noticed she had jumped up and ran. She even took her stool with her to keep it safe. Thinking , I'm surprised I didn't produce a stool myself during this short lived bit of excitement.
I think I better brush up on the starting advice Rick gave me at the Bash when I comes to starting Harley. He had a routine that was something like, turn the fuel on, shake hands, walk to the back for the pto engagement and to the other side to start. I have been a little more observant of that shifter these last two weeks. Rosie now watches through a window from inside the house and only comes out when she knows it's safe
The bottom line is, no matter how safety conscious we are, Stanton and I can both tell you, things happen before you know it. Thankfully, we are both fortunate enough to still be here to remind you.