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Ohio State University Extension


No Riders on Lawn Equipment for Trainers and Supervisors

Tailgate Safety Training for Landscaping and Horticultural Services
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Objective: Identify the dangers of riders on lawn equipment.

Trainer’s Note

Riders on any power equipment are a safety hazard and should not be allowed. For this module:

  • Ask workers to list reasons why people might have riders.
  • Stress the hazards involved with riders.
  • Ask workers to discuss how these hazards outweigh possible benefits.
  • Explain that a rider is allowed on tractors and other equipment for training purposes only.
  • Review the important points.
  • Have workers take the True/False quiz to check their learning.


Most equipment does not have an extra seat, but some workers allow riders. Any rider for any reason is a safety hazard. An extra rider may block the driver’s view or movement. And a rider also may:

  • fall from the equipment
  • be run over
  • become entangled in equipment
  • be killed

Extra passengers are problematic because they:

  • interfere with the operator’s vision and ability to use controls
  • distract the operator
  • increase the rider's exposure to noise, dust, and chemicals
  • increase the risk of a multiple injury incident

Advance planning helps avoid the need for riders. You can plan other transportation if additional workers are needed at the work site.


  • Only one person is allowed on each piece of machinery.
  • No riders should be allowed on any lawn equipment. This should be strictly enforced. No children—ever!
  • New workers should be trained in the classroom or the shop before they drive machinery and lawn equipment.
  • Use additional vehicles to transport workers to and from a job site—not lawn equipment.

Review These Important Points

  • Riders on any power equipment are a safety hazard and should not be allowed.
  • All drivers of equipment need training in a classroom setting.
  • Plan transportation for passengers early. This reduces the temptation to carry riders on machinery and lawn equipment.

About These Modules
The author team for the training modules in the landscape and horticultural tailgate training series includes Dee Jepsen, Program Director, Agricultural Safety and Health, Ohio State University Extension; Michael Wonacott, Research Specialist, Vocational Education; Peter Ling, Greenhouse Specialist; and Thomas Bean, Agricultural Safety Specialist. Modules were developed with funding from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant Number 46E3-HT09.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Answer Key

1. T 2. T 3. F 4. F 5. F

Quiz: No Riders on Lawn Equipment



True or False?

1. Advance planning of all transportation needs is one way to keep riders off lawn equipment.     T     F

2. Extra riders can be a distraction to the operator.     T     F

3. Small children can ride on lawn equipment.     T     F

4. Most equipment provides extra seating for riders.     T     F

5. Two heads are better than one when it comes to making quick decisions on lawn equipment.     T     F

Originally posted Jun 4, 2018.