Machinery practical advice and tips

Latest practical advice and tips

SPRAYERS

Driver’s view: Steven Keal’s Agrifac Condor sprayer

Steven Keal has been the sprayer operator at Thelveton Farms in Norfolk for four years and currently drives a highly-specced Agrifac Condor that has so far proved a sound investment,…

CEREAL DRILLS

How to fit a fertiliser kit to a John Deere drill

John Deere’s 750A drill is recognised as being one of the longest-serving no-till seeders used in Europe today. Other smaller manufacturers from around the globe are working hard to grab…

SLURRY TANKERS

Advice on setting up the perfect umbilical slurry system

Spreading slurry through an umbilical system can be vastly more efficient than running tankers, but it’s not always a practical proposition for every farm, particularly those with outlying ground a…

COMBINES

Headsight system automates combine header height

A bespoke header control kit could increase yield and reduce downtime by keeping the table height accurate in all conditions. The system is built by Canadian firm Headsight, and the…

MACHINERY

NAAC farm contractor charges 2020-21

The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) has published its latest price guide to help contractors and farmers benchmark against the UK national average. Overall, there has been a small…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Buyers guide to 6m-reach hedgecutters

Farmers have found themselves under pressure to fit hedgecutting into a relatively short window around other time-pressured arable tasks, so having an implement that is fit for the job is…

Tractors

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TRACTORS

Ultimate guide to buying a tractor 2020

Major updates for the Case-IH Magnum, Fendt 900 Vario, John Deere 6 and 8 families, and New Holland T5 and T8 lines are among the changes for this year’s Ultimate…

TRACTORS

Taking your tractor test – all you need to know

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) tractor test gives budding farmers the chance to drive machines on the road at the age of 16, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. The…

TRACTORS

The inspection service helping buyers spot dodgy tractors

Most farmers would back themselves to spot a dodgy tractor a mile off, but a burgeoning agricultural business is offering an impartial inspection service that goes a bit further than…

TRACTORS

Handy checklist for buying a second-hand tractor

Having a comprehensive checklist to hand when going to view a second-hand tractor could make the difference between bringing home a stalwart and shelling out for a disaster. The second-hand…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Tips for maintaining a Fendt 700-series tractor

Few tractors hold their value quite like a 700-series Fendt, and even when the hour clock has clicked to five figures, they can still have price tags of more than…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Guidance issued for farmers suffering biodiesel problems

Fuel suppliers have issued guidance for farmers and contractors who say biodiesel is causing low fuel pressure and blocking filters in tractors. Some farmers have suggested the problems are related…

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Tractor cab filters: are you protected?

Most operators and farmers will be well aware of the potential risks that working with agricultural chemicals brings, but with the right precautions, users will be kept free from any…

101-200HP

Top tips for getting the best from a John Deere 6930 Premium

In the second-hand, mid-horsepower tractor market, John Deere’s 6930 Premium is arguably one of the most sought after. Built in Mannheim between 2007 and 2012, this lightweight, powerful tractor offers…

Telehandlers

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TELEHANDLERS

Ultimate guide to buying a telehandler 2020

The introduction of additional models to fill gaps in existing ranges is the main theme of this year’s Ultimate Guide to telescopic handlers – along with the surprise addition of…

TELEHANDLERS

What to look for when buying a used JCB telehandler

The process of buying any second-hand machine is full of pitfalls, but with telehandlers it can be particularly fraught, given how they can be used and abused on a daily…

TELEHANDLERS

Tips for buying a used Matbro telehandler

JCB might be top dog in the telehandler world these days, but in the 1990s it couldn’t get a look in. Back then rival UK firm Matbro was king, and…

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

Buyers guide to 6m-reach hedgecutters

Farmers have found themselves under pressure to fit hedgecutting into a relatively short window around other time-pressured arable tasks, so having an implement that is fit for the job is…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Tips to get the perfect solar-powered electric fence setup

Putting an end to the monotonous charging and distribution of electric fencer batteries would be a boon for any livestock farmer. So, it’s no surprise that interest in solar-powered energisers…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Ultimate guide on how to install a farm weighbridge

There are many reasons a farm business would want to weigh product moving in and out of the yard, from simply recording crop yields of individual fields to getting the…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

What coronavirus means for kit orders, spares and servicing

Mass factory closures and the lockdown of more than one-quarter of the world's population may have sent world economies into a whirlwind, but farm machinery manufacturers are doing everything they…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Tips for maintaining a Fendt 700-series tractor

Few tractors hold their value quite like a 700-series Fendt, and even when the hour clock has clicked to five figures, they can still have price tags of more than…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Two options for levelling your yard this winter

Laying a few road planings and pushing them around with a digger might keep you busy for a few winter days, but getting it done professionally to laser accuracy could…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Guide to managing rats on your farm

Autumn is a time when rat populations can start taking hold on a farm as food supplies dry up in the field and cold and wet weather sets in. However,…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

In photos: Simple checks to keep farm trailers safe

Farmers need to ensure that their trailers are safe and properly maintained ahead of the busy summer months. Transport-related accidents are among the main causes of workplace fatalities in agriculture,…

4x4s, cars and pickups

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ROAD LEGAL

Video: All you need to know to pass your B+E trailer test

So you’ve been driving since you could reach the pedals, passed your tractor test at 16, car test at 17 and can reverse 40ft trailers around the yard for fun.…

4X4S

£690 conversion kit turns Land Rover Discoverys into pickups

Used Land Rover Discoverys don’t enjoy the same cult status as the iconic Defender, so when the rot sets in, values hit the floor. That means MOT failures can change…

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…

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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MACHINERY

Advice on managing machinery costs before BPS phase-out

Arable businesses are being urged to scrutinise machinery costs and purchasing policy ahead of the potential industry changes arising from the government’s new Agriculture Bill. AHDB benchmarking data shows machinery…

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…

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…

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.…