Six tips for a safe quad ride
Four farmers lost their lives in quad accidents last year. Do you know how to drive yours safely?

According to Pat Griffin, senior inspector at the Health and Safety Authority, there are six key areas to look out for.

  • Choose a quad that fits your size: There are different sizes of machines and manufacturers can advise on this.
  • Ensure proper maintenance: This includes keeping tyre pressure at the correct level, usually 3PSI. "Many farmers overinflate their quad tyres, making them bouncier," Griffin said.
  • Get trained: Professional driver training would avoid a significant number of accidents, according to the safety inspector.
  • Wear protective gear: A helmet is the obvious one, but "footwear is as important", said Griffin. He added that quad drivers should wear goggles or safety glasses to protect their eyes against projections.
  • Only use the quad in appropriate conditions: "Plan your route and avoid excessive slopes," Griffin said. Ground conditions are also important, especially where tractor tracks in muddy soil have dried and become solid. A quad can easily overturn if hitting them at the wrong angle, he warned.
  • Fit an anti-roll bar: Such devices can avoid crushing and are at the core of a Fianna Fáil bill on quad safety currently before the Oireachtas, following the recommendations of an inquest into the death of a Co Mayo farmer last year. However, Griffin gave this the last priority on his list. "I'm a bit concerned about people fitting a safety device and saying 'I can drive any way I like now'," he said. According to him, several of the 12 fatal quad accidents on farms in the past 10 years would not have been avoided by anti-roll bars. The HSA is currently seeking feedback from users to assess their efficiency.
  • The HSA will conduct quad safety demonstrations at the National Ploughing Championships between 18-20 September on stand 299, block 4, row 14.

    Read more

    Farm Safety Week: 12 quad deaths in past decade

    Bill to make helmets and anti-roll bars mandatory on quads

    Quads 'most dangerous piece of machinery' – HSA

    Most farms fail machinery safety inspections

    Northern Ireland tractor market growth in 2018
    Sales of new tractors in Northern Ireland increased by 7.4% in 2018.

    UK registrations of new tractors (over 50hp) in January 2019 recorded a 10% drop compared with the same month in 2018, according to the latest figures from UK-based Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

    The total number of new tractors registered in the UK in 2018 reached 12,102.

    This was just under 1% higher than the total for 2017 and the largest annual figure in four years.

    The biggest power segment in the UK market is now the 161 to 200hp category tractor, accounting for 20% of all new tractors sold there.

    The market for bigger 241hp+ tractors showed the largest growth of almost 23%.

    Northern Ireland

    The AEA also reported that 491 new tractors were registered in Northern Ireland in 2018, up by 7.4% from 457 the previous year.

    AGCO innovations win seven 2019 US engineering awards
    AGCO Corporation have just scooped more ASABE awards than any other manufacturer.

    AGCO Corporation, the owner of Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra, has received seven AE50 Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in 2019, more than any other manufacturer.

    Approximately 50 products, representing the best innovations in engineering and technology for agricultural, food and biological systems, are chosen for recognition each year by a panel.

    This year’s winning products from AGCO include the Hesston by Massey Ferguson, WR9900 Series Windrower OptiRide Cab Suspension, Fendt IDEAL Combine, TerraGator C-Series High-Flotation Applicator, Amity Precision Shank Drill, GSI Z-Series Bins and Flexwave Technology, GSI Dry/Cool Portable Quiet Dryer and GSI Quiet TopDry and Recon SpreadSense.

    The Massey Ferguson WR9900 Series Windrower OptiAir Cab Suspension incorporates a four-post air suspension system for ultimate ride, 40% less vibration and greater noise suppression.

    The Fendt IDEAL Combine is the first “clean-sheet” design of an axial combine in 30 years.

    In Fendt tradition, it is loaded with innovations that provide in-field efficiency, unfailing uptime, simple operation and excellent grain quality.

    The awards will be presented in February during ASABE’s annual Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

    RNLI acquires specialist tractor builder
    The RNLI recently acquired the articulated Talus MB-4H produced by Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for forty years. Bruce Lett reports

    Visitors to last year’s National Ploughing Championships may have noticed a very different crawler-type tractor on WR Shaw’s stand.

    The crawler in question is owned by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and based at Clogherhead lifeboat station, Co Louth.

    It is one of approximately 30 crawler tractors built by Clayton Engineering Ltd in Wales for the RNLI.

    The Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

    Weighing in at 19t and powered by a 210hp V8 Caterpillar engine, Clayton Engineering’s Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

    The firm has built a number of specialist tractors for the RNLI, including the County-based MB-764 and the RNLI/Clayton-designed Talus MB-4H.

    The latter is articulated, which has earned it the nickname “The Bendy”.

    In January this year, the RNLI acquired Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for 40 years. This followed the retirement of the current owners and managing director. The firm manufactures and supplies almost half of the RNLI’s lifeboat launch and recovery systems used throughout Ireland and the UK.