Nine things farmers should do on the motoring front this year
The years fly by and suddenly the sparkling new car we 'only bought' a few years ago is showing its age and beginning to cost money for upkeep.
Or the children have outgrown the family saloon; or the family has grown up and you don't need the 7-seater any more. Or the family is growing and you need a 7-seater like never before. And so on.
So I thought it might be an idea to give an outline of how you can save some money, possible headaches while streamlining on practicality and relevance by outlining nine things worth doing this year to help you decide what your next motoring step, or steps, should be.
Take a couple of hours before the calving, lambing and sowing starts in earnest and see what's the deal with your wheels - and those driving them.
1 Assess in detail the current state and condition of the road-going vehicle(s) on your farm. I mean all vehicles - big 4x4s and small hatches. Ask yourself if you are happy enough from a safety and mechanical perspective. When did each vehicle last get a full service, for example? Are the tyres of sufficient tread depth?
2 Is there a car that 'owes you nothing' and is still going strong but is really costing a lot in poor fuel consumption or high road tax (pre-2008 registration). Would a newer one save in the medium term?
3 Does everyone driving a road-going motor in your family know the latest towing rules - trailer weight etc? You could be driving illegally with a trailer if you don't have a proper licence or if the weight is inappropriate.
4 Are trailers properly roadworthy/lit and being asked to do what they were designed for and no more?