27 March 1998

Japanese warning

TRACTOR dealers and farmers may be breaking the law if they sell or use certain imported second-hand Japanese tractors, warns the Health and Safety Executive.

According to the HSE, at least 65 machines – most of which fail to comply with UK safety standards – have recently been directly imported from Japan. These are reported to have been sold through machinery auctions.

The shipment included makes such as Kubota, Shibaura, Iseki, Hinomoto, Sato and Yanmar; official UK importers of these tractors have no involvement in these batches and advise farmers and dealers to have nothing to do with the machines.

"Many of these tractors weigh more than 560kg and, as a result, are subject to the Agriculture (Tractor Cabs) regulations," says the HSEs Greg Bungay. "They cannot be used by farm workers without an approved cab or roll bar, and there are unlikely to be any approved frames available for these tractors as these models have not been previously sold in the UK."

Mr Bungay says that further problems exist in the absence of manuals or instruction books, English control markings and decals, and correct guarding. "Any auctioneer or dealer selling one of these tractors for use at work may be breaking the law," he warns. &#42

Beware imported second-hand Japanese tractors at auctions.