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Monday 24 September 2018

Over-loaded trailers a danger to all on roads

George Graham from Embrace at the Family Farm Safety Day at Gurteen Agricultural College with Imelda Walsh, Chairperson of the North Tipperary IFA.
George Graham from Embrace at the Family Farm Safety Day at Gurteen Agricultural College with Imelda Walsh, Chairperson of the North Tipperary IFA.

Martin Ryan

Farmers grossly over-loading trailers when towing with cars and 4x4 vehicles is creating "a safety hazard" on public roads, the gardaí warned.

Garda Brendan Condon, Garda Traffic Corp, stressed serious excess loads have been detected as he demonstrated the hi-tech mobile vehicle weighing unit used by the gardaí.

"A jeep and trailer in North Tipperary last week weighed 7.6 tonnes and the farmer did not appear to be aware it was grossly over-loaded," he told those gathered for the Family Farm Safety Day at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co Tipperary on Saturday.

He said that the typical farm saloon car towing a one or two-axle cattle box is designed to carry one cow or two small animals.

"We are also noticing an increase in the number of farmers using tractors and trailers for mart transport because they don't have a licence to tow - they're afraid of having to do the driving test," he added.

Farmers were urged to check the Design Gross Vehicle Weight or Maximised Authorised Mass, which is the maximum load a vehicle or trailer can carry in the owner's manual or statutory plate.

The event was organised by IFA, Teagasc, Gurteen College, Agri Aware, Embrace, FRS, ICMSA, An Garda Síochána, and Agri Kids as a family day out with the emphasis on creating awareness in all aspects of farm activity.

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George Graham from Embrace advised people with mental health problems that "accepting you have a problem" is the first step and "if you get up and going there is light and the light with get brighter and brighter".

Claire Mooney, Teagasc, Nenagh said that the purpose of the event was to get the whole farm family involved in awareness of dangerous situations.

Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have announced that a two-week long intensive farm inspection campaign will commence on Tuesday May 8 next with visits to approximately 200 farms focusing on safe working with vehicles and machinery.

Over the last 10 years, half of all fatal farm accidents involved vehicles and machinery, while there has been a sharp increase in quad bike fatalities.


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