Farm vehicles are essential equipment for any member of the agriculture industry, whether for a large rural property or a small dairy farm. These vehicles make farm labour manageable for workers by easing tasks that can otherwise be too taxing.
Farm vehicles also mitigate the risks of injury by reducing the burden on the body of the workers. However, given that they count as heavy-duty equipment, potential misuse of the vehicles may lead to safety hazards as well. When using farm vehicles, from the lightweight farm bikes to the high-horsepower tractors, farmers need to exercise the utmost care and take precautions to ensure their safety.
Here are a few key things to remember:
Each farm vehicle specialises in a particular purpose or task. Make sure that you are using the proper vehicle for the job at hand. Attempting shortcuts by mismatching the vehicles with their functions is not only inefficient but also potentially harmful. For example, local dealers usually offer farm bikes for sale that are perfect for conducting farm inspections, and high-powered quad bikes that can tow trailers and lift the payload.
Farm vehicles, especially those used to lift and transport heavy objects, have different specifications, depending on the particular model. Take note of the vehicle’s towing capacity, payload limit and terrain capability. Always stay within the capacity indicated on the vehicle to make sure that the vehicle is operating under optimal conditions. Straining or overloading can damage the vehicle and cause trouble for the user.
Untrained drivers run the risk of injury not only to themselves but also to other workers. All drivers attempting to ride the vehicle should be familiar with the vehicle’s controls and the accompanying safety precautions. Helmets that meet NZ safety standards, for example, are necessary even when travelling short distances within the farm.
Practising safe operation of farm vehicles allows workers to focus on their job without worrying about their health and safety. If the farmers are free to do their tasks, the whole farm stands to benefit from increased productivity and efficiency.