Preparing for the tasks of winter

Service your tractor before the Winter.
Service your tractor before the Winter.

BY ANTHONY O’CONNOR

OCTOBER heralds the housing of stock, feeding fodder and treating stock for parasites etc. The days shorten, darkness descends earlier. Most farm accidents occur in evening time. Plan your day’s work. Aim to finish tasks before late afternoon. Before starting in the morning, have a quick check of your farmyard area to see that all is safe.

Farm machinery

■ Machinery will be in use on the majority of farms on most days – bring in fodder, pushing in bales or blocks of silage.  All machines used need to be in a tip top state of repair. Check that the 3-point linkage is secure. Ensure PTO guards are in place. Avoid wearing loose clothing or jackets with dangling drawstrings or cords.

■ The braking system of the tractor, including the handbrake, needs to be in perfect working condition.

■ For a clear view, clean windscreen, mirrors, rear window and side windows on the tractor before starting.

■ Plan to carry out all tasks safely. Avoid rushing any job. Drive machinery slowly in farmyards and over rough ground. Keep back a safe distance from any working machinery.

■ Ensure children are supervised at all times.

■ Elderly farmers need to stay clear of any working machinery.

■ Be safe, be seen – wear a high visibility vest when working near machinery. Keep clear of backing tractors with shear grabs or bale handlers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.