Opinion: We need to follow the building sector's example on mandatory safety training
As the season winds down, one by one machines are being cleaned down, washed and placed into storage until the next time they are required.
It's an ideal time to go through each machine one by one, list any worn parts that need replacing or fixing and compile a list to be accomplished over the next few quiet weeks.
The income generated from tillage has been poor this year, but it's not the machines' fault there is no money in the game. Well maintained machines are more likely to give longer trouble free service which should reduce costs over the course of a season.
More importantly, a properly maintained machine is less likely to be a safety hazard with guards more likely to be in place, and less likely to be have to be fixed in less than ideal conditions on a dark harvest night.
The big ticket items, the combine and the tractors, are the usual places to start. However, there are many implements on the average farm and when any of them fail at the critical moment, chaos ensues.
When trailers are lining up waiting for a shed to be cleaned out so they can be emptied, a correctly working hydraulic brusher is more useful at that moment than the fanciest of combines. Bear in mind the weak links in the chain when making a list of machines for servicing.
New rules and regulations governing use of trailers on the road came into effect earlier this year, and it was notable how many trailers got a makeover for the season.
Some were even retired off and replaced with shiny new ones.