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Machinery Safety

According to the Health and Safety Authority, farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in Ireland. Safety is a key factor that must be taken into consideration when working on the farm. Machinery and vehicles are the main causes of farm accidents. 

Agricultural machinery should be operated only by competent and fully trained people. The operator should be totally familiar with all the controls and operating procedures of the machinery. One of the most commonly used pieces of machinery is a power take-off (PTO) drive shaft.

PTO shafts are the source of power for many machines that are attached to a tractor and powered by the tractor’s engine.

When the PTO is in operation, it must be totally enclosed by the guard which should be undamaged and match the shaft in both length and size. When attaching any machine to a tractor, take precautions to prevent getting crushed.

FRS offers training safety courses on a range of agriculture and horticulture courses. The purpose of the tractor driving course is to equip the learner with the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to operate a tractor in compliance with recommended standards, European Union (EU) and Irish legislation and good farming practice.

Farmers and operators should do their walk around checks before operating the machine to make sure that they have sufficient amounts of fuel, that lights are all working, check the tyre pressures, check the machine for oil and water and also make sure that the brakes are in good working order. They should check for any hydraulic leaks and make any necessary repairs

Machine Used on a Farm

Plough

Plough

Used to turn the soil over and break it up. The circular discs on the plough cuts the soil and the mouldboard turns over the sod. This important operation involves totally burying vegetation and surface matter while at the same time turning up fresh soil to the air and weather.

Harrow

Harrow

This operation prepares the seedbed by loosening, breaking up and levelling the soil to produce a Firm, Fine, Friable, stone Free seed bed.

Fertilising and Sowing Machines

Fertilising and Sowing Machines

Precision machines that place the seed and/or fertilizer at correct spacing and depth. The One-pass machine prepares the seed-bed, places the seed and firms it in, all in the same operation. A one-pass can greatly reduce soil compaction and moisture loss.

Rollers

Roller

This involves firming in the seed, pressing down stones and sealing in moisture to promote germination of seeds.

Potato Harvester

Potato Harvester

Machines that lift, clean and sort potatoes in one operation.

Hey Tosser/Tedder

Hay Tosser/Tedder

Hay making involves drying grass with sun and air movement. These machines speed up the process.




Slurry Spreader

Slurry Spreader

Holds the dung and urine from winter housing which is recycled back to the fields the silage came from. A trailing shoe tanker system puts slurry close to the soil and reduces losses to air (ie smell).

 

Sprayer

Sprayer

They are precision machines for applying Liquid Fertiliser, Herbicides, Fungicides and Insecticides to combat pests & diseases.

Grass Cutter

Grass Cutter

Grass is cut in Summer to preserve it as silage or hay for Winter feeding. A   mower/conditioner cuts the grass and squeezes it between rollers to release moisture and speed up drying.

Bailler

Bailer

For transport, storage and feeding, the cut grass is packed into bales. If grass is not fully dried to hay, then it is wrapped in plastic to make silage or haylage (dryer than silage but not as dry as hay).

Combine Harvester

Combine Harvester

A large complex expensive machine that cuts, thresh, separate seeds from straw and clean the seed in one Combined operation (hence their name). Used to harvest wheat, barley, oats, rapeseed, linseed, beans.

Grass Topper

Grass Topper

Is the operation of cutting seed stems from grazed fields. Topping stimulates new leafy growth making pasture more nutritious and palatable.

Forage/Silage Harvester

Forage/Silage Harvester

Are machines that chop the grass and blow it into trailers for taking to the silage pit.