a farm in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, and
fronts the FSP Drive Safety Forward
campaign. He says farmers want to stay
safe, but it shouldn’t be made di cult to
do so. “Safety is all about managing risk
by removing it or controlling it. It used
to be that when we were tipping grain in
the shed, an employee would manually
open the back. This operation was risky,
so we got rid of that by getting hydraulic
tailgates that removed the need for a
manual operation. The easiest way to
make yourself safe is to take away the
risk. The newest generations of tractors
have a park facility, and many of them
have a safe stop mode built into this.
Securing your tractor before leaving the
cab is one easy way to stop being run
He acknowledges that there is an
onus on farmers to stay safe around
transport, and he conducts checks on his
vehicle every morning to see if anything
obvious needs H xing. He concludes: “A
vehicle risk assessment might take a
little time, but it usually pays o .”
COMPLIANCE – OFF-ROAD AGRICULTURAL VEHICLES
Daily and long-term checks
Below is a list of recommended checks for tractors, trailers, combines, all-terrain
vehicles, telehandlers, o -road vehicles, machinery and ancillary equipment. When in
doubt, refer to the owner’s manual.
✔ Brakes – are they working correctly,
and does the handbrake work?
✔ Connections – make sure any
cables, pins and plugs are not
damaged or worn. Make sure the
breakaway cable or secondary
coupling device is working.
✔ Coupling – make sure it is attached
correctly and is operational. Assess
wear and tear on the ball joint, and
pin and eye coupling.
✔ Diagnostics – deal with any faults
if dashboard lights are illuminated.
✔ Driver’s seat – is it H xed correctly,
and does the seatbelt work?
✔ Fluids – check oil, fuel, and water
levels. Look for leaks.
✔ Guards – they should all be H tted and
✔ Lights and beacons – make sure
they’re visible and working.
✔ Mirrors – are they clean and visible?
✔ Tyres – examine condition, inh ation,
tread, and foreign objects. Also, look
for movement in wheel nuts, and
wheel nut indicators, if H tted.
✔ Windscreen and wipers – is it clear
and visible? Also check screen wash
LONG-TERM SAFETY CHECKS
AND BEST PRACTICE
✔ Servicing – make sure every vehicle
is serviced once a year to catch any
slow wear-and-tear issues.
✔ Brakes – put all vehicles and trailers
through an annual brake test at
an authorised dealership, and
get them checked for remaining
✔ Power take o – make sure the
guard is in place, and the hydraulic
hoses are maintained.
✔ Inspections – meet all formal
inspections required for equipment,
especially if it falls under PUWER and/
✔ Keep maintenance log books up
✔ Use a defects book to monitor
12 www.operationsengineer.org.uk May 2019