Machinery practical advice and tips

Latest practical advice and tips

FARM MAINTENANCE

All you need to know about lights in farm buildings

Most farms have a variety of lights about the place, many of them in use since Maggie Thatcher was in No 10. That made perfect sense because lightbulb technology had…

CULTIVATORS

6 ways to improve autumn soil cultivation regimes

Many operators can be guilty of pulling the cultivator out the shed, heading to the field and cracking on with ground work, with the only parameter of success the sight…

CULTIVATORS

How, why and when to mole drain

Soggy fields, ruts deeper than your wellies and bubbling water from broken drains are all telltale signs your field drainage could do with a boost. It’s only in a wet…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Ultimate guide to tractor tyre management

It is essential to ensure your tractor tyres are in good working order, both for your safety and for your pocket. We look at the causes of premature tyre wear,…

COMBINES

Custom-built combine spares could save farmers cash

Bent drums, bashed augers and snapped straw walkers are just some of the common injuries that can bring combines to a lengthy standstill. And with genuine replacements for these major…

TRAILERS

Video: Trailer covers and roll-over tarps - the best options

Some form of cover for agricultural trailers is becoming commonplace to secure loads or protect them from the elements and contamination. They range from cut-to-size covers with elastic securing straps…

Tractors

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MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Ultimate guide to tractor tyre management

It is essential to ensure your tractor tyres are in good working order, both for your safety and for your pocket. We look at the causes of premature tyre wear,…

TRACTORS

Buying a tractor? How to make sense of engine statistics

Hands up who knows the difference between a tractor’s rated and maximum power? Or what the perfect torque curve should look like? How about torque rise? Or six-point fuel tests?…

TRACTORS

Buying a 150hp tractor? We look at 12 options

For sheer choice and variety, the 150hp bracket marks the tractor sector’s sweet spot, with most makers offering four- and six-cylinder alternatives and a multitude of transmission types and spec…

TRACTORS

Driver’s view: Versatile Delta Track - brawn on a budget

When Case-IH chose to bolt four track units to one of its articulated prairie monsters it created a new tractor concept that had no direct rivals for more than 15…

MACHINERY

Compare tractors and combines with our buyers guides

Farmers and contractors looking to take several options into consideration when choosing a new tractor will find the new specification and price guide published on FWi this week a useful…

TRACTORS

Tractor buyers guide 2017

Times might be tough in the current farming climate, but that hasn’t stopped the major manufacturers making big changes to their tractor line-ups. High-horsepower models have been beefed up, the…

MACHINERY

Tips for buying a 350hp Cat Challenger C-series on a budget

Shopping for a 350hp tractor with less than £30,000 in your back pocket brings up precious few options in the UK. But if you keep your eyes peeled you might…

MACHINERY

Tractors on the road: Rights, wrongs, rules and regulations

Harvest is in full swing which means tractors are taking to the roads up and down the country. It may seem unfair to farmers and contractors, who argue that they…

Telehandlers

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TELEHANDLERS

Buyer’s guide to telehandlers and loading shovels

Take a look through the latest Farmers Weekly telescopic handlers specification and price guide and it is clear that whatever size and shape of machine you fancy, someone will be…

MACHINERY

Tips for farmers buying a second-hand JCB telehandler

Love a pivot-steer but reluctant to splash the cash on a spanking new one? We get the lowdown on potential trouble spots on JCB’s bend-in-the-middle TM310S from Dai Thomas at…

Top tips for passing your telehandler test

Tests – whether they involve youngsters becoming qualified to drive a trailer or mature workers being assessed on a telehandler – may not be fun but they are an unavoidable…

Top tips for buying a £15,000 telehandler

Sourcing a decent second-hand telehandler for under £15,000 is something of a challenge. But if you’re not too concerned about looks then there are bargains to be had. Nick Fone…

What to look for when buying a used telehandler

Whether a livestock farm, an arable unit or a contracting business, a materials handler of some kind is the core of many farming fleets, and for most the telescopic handler…

Tools, clothing and other equipment

FARM MAINTENANCE

Septic tanks on farm: Rules and replacements

By the time 1 January 2020 comes round, the Environment Agency hopes that farmers with septic tanks that currently discharge into a watercourse will have checked them and upgraded if necessary.…

FARM MAINTENANCE

All you need to know about lights in farm buildings

Most farms have a variety of lights about the place, many of them in use since Maggie Thatcher was in No 10. That made perfect sense because lightbulb technology had…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Ultimate guide to tractor tyre management

It is essential to ensure your tractor tyres are in good working order, both for your safety and for your pocket. We look at the causes of premature tyre wear,…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Winter tyres on farm vehicles - should you fit them?

The UK's increasingly uncertain weather patterns make the odds of having another snowy period pretty high this winter. But while in most of Europe putting winter tyres on cars and…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Tips for keeping air conditioning systems running sweetly

Maintenance of farm kit air conditioning systems is crucial to keep cold air flowing through the vents during the summer, and changes to refrigerant regulations mean it will save you…

FARM MAINTENANCE

A guide to kit for controlling rats, mice and squirrels

If there’s one thing the world will never be rid of, it’s mice and rats. These sneaky rodents have been around for 160 million years and both farmers and pest…

FARM MAINTENANCE

How to get a chainsaw's tired two-stroke engine to run

Two-stroke engines like regular use, so after a summer of languishing at the back of the workshop it should be no surprise if the old chainsaw is reluctant to start.…

MACHINERY

A guide to fixing pothole-ridden farm tracks

Bashing and crashing along worn-out farm tracks is a pretty tedious pastime. But it is one many farmers will endure for years, fearing that the cost of putting it right will…

4x4s, cars and pickups

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4X4S

How to patch up farm pickups with second-hand spare parts

Farm pickups are subject to a notoriously rough and loveless life, but patching them up with second-hand spares can push them a few years beyond their sell-by date without costing…

MACHINERY

Converting 4x4s to red diesel – how to stay road legal

Land Rovers and pickups are an indispensable part of all farm businesses and if you’re using them for specific tasks then it might pay to convert them to full agricultural…

4X4S

Pickup buyers guide 2017

Ask your granddad about the farm vehicle he had as a youngster and you can almost guarantee it was a Land Rover Defender of some form. They were the staple,…

4X4S

14 top retrofit kit options for farm pickups

If you have just splashed out on a new pickup truck you could soon find yourself sifting through the endless lists of accessories to get it just the way you…

TRAILERS

10 tips to keep your Ifor Williams trailer road legal

The humble Ifor Williams trailer is a mainstay of livestock farms up and down the country, but its tough-as-nails galvanised body can often fool owners into thinking that everything is…

MACHINERY

How to stop thieves stealing your Land Rover

Every year more than 500 Land Rover Defenders are stolen from farms across the UK. And that number is on the up, according to figures from the NFU Mutual, with…

MACHINERY

Bowler Motorsport powers up Land Rover Defender

If you’ve got a Land Rover Defender, but find it wanting in the power and handling department, you could take it for a pepping-up session at Bowler Motorsport. Bowler Motorsport…

How to pick up an Aussie pickup for your farm

Sometimes it can seem like we get a pretty mundane selection of pickups in the UK. While our North Americans cousins are hooning around in dual-wheeled Ford F350s and the…

ATVs and UTVs

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ATVS AND UTVS

Guide to keeping your farm ATV legal on the road

Lots of farmers use all-terrain-vehicles to scuttle between pockets of land, which means their bikes need to comply with UK road rules. So what are the dos and don’ts? All-terrain-vehicles,…

ATVS AND UTVS

Security kit to protect your quad bike from thieves

The rise in reported thefts of farm ATVs shows no signs of abating, with recent NFU stats revealing that 284 machines were stolen in the first six months of this…

ATVS AND UTVS

Buyers' guide to ATVs and UTVs

Whether it’s a four-wheel drive range topper or a bog standard run of the mill bike, our comprehensive guide to all the specs and prices on the market will make…

ATVS AND UTVS

Compare new UTVs with our 2017 buyers guide

Side-by-side UTVs that provide seating for at least two and a load behind the driver and passengers continue to make ground in terms of popularity compared with quad bikes. According…

How to choose a reliable second-hand farm buggy

When the rain is lashing down and you’re covered from head to toe in sloppy mud, thoughts quickly turn to trading your ATV in for something a little more comfortable.…

The low-down on buying a second-hand ATV

Getting hold of a decent used ATV with £2,500 in your back pocket sounds simple enough. But after several phone calls enquiring about bikes for sale in the southern counties…

Arable

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How to cut weed control costs with GPS steer kit

Ultra-precise GPS steering systems can undoubtedly improve the efficiency of field operations but is there room for improvement? We look at a system that uses the implement’s position to steer…

ARABLE

How to build a new grainstore in budget

Building a new grainstore is rarely a straightforward task. Essex farmer Nick Cousins explains how he tackled the project this summer. Putting up grain facilities that will still be fit…

Upgrade improves OSR drilling without cost of new machine

Growers considering a shift away from the "subcast" technique of establishing oilseed rape to improve the performance and economic viability of their crops are being offered an upgrade that enables…

ARABLE

10 top ways to apply Avadex granules

One of the big talking points among the machinery lines at this year’s Cereals Event will no doubt be how to apply Avadex granules to combat blackgrass. Peter Hill reports…

ARABLE

How to maintain your trailer brakes

About three-quarters of trailers with hydraulic brakes fail dealer tests while a quarter have no stopping power whatsoever. Often put on a pedestal as the answer to all our braking…

The best guidance on controlled traffic farming

The time is definitely right for guidance, but is it also right for, perhaps, the logical next step: controlled traffic farming? Intro Design Road limits Trial basis Benefits Management CTF…

Why banding could get your rape off to a good start

The idea of applying nutrients in a band rather than as a blanket application has a lot in its favour. Targeted application allows plants to make the best use of…

Livestock

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MACHINERY

Tips and advice for planning and building a new silage clamp

Tucked away in a corner of the yard and inherited from a previous generation, silage clamps are often at the bottom of the priority list. But given how important forage…

Grass volume recording steps into digital age

Once the preserve of a keen eye or a graduated stick (or simply markings on a Wellington boot), measuring and recording grass volume and growth has gone high-tech with plate…

Top tips for buying a used milking robot

Milking robots are a big investment, but with machines beginning to dribble on to the second-hand market, you can pick up a good one for a fraction of the new…

LIVESTOCK

4 ways to improve your milking parlour routine

It’s very easy for a parlour routine to become established, but time spent undertaking a review of exactly what does happen during milking time can often highlight areas where improvements…

Livestock farmers' picks of useful precision technology

Precision farming technology is an essential part of a livestock farmer's business now. We asked past Farmers Weekly Awards winners and runners up what technology they are using on their…

MACHINERY

Slurry spreading: tanker v umbilical

At a time when slurry is being recognised as a valuable source of fertiliser, the industry is now increasingly aware of how and when it should be spread, it seems.…