Machinery practical advice and tips

Latest practical advice and tips

TRACTORS

22-year-old Fendt Favorit 515C gets £15k revamp

The allure of a new, top-spec tractor might win over many farmers and contractors, but Matthew Barnett has considerably more time for older machines with a proven track record. He…

FARM MAINTENANCE

6 tips to minimise problems with blocked fuel filters

Farmers across the UK are continuing to report problems with blocked fuel filters in tractors and other farm vehicles. An increase in fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) blend component for…

ROAD LEGAL

Combine road safety: Is your header trailer up to scratch?

Farmers taking combines on the road at harvest time should check whether their header trailers are road legal and fit for purpose. And with many large arable outfits now running…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

How to avoid costly claims for rodent damage to machinery

Damage to stored machinery and equipment caused by rodents can be very costly. Individual insurance claims in excess of £20,000 are not unusual, and if insurance doesn't cover rodent damage,…

TRACTORS

10 scraper tractor options for dairy farms of all sizes

No tractor is less mollycoddled than the one hooked to a muckscraper. Slathered in slurry from dawn ‘til dusk and shunting back and forth with monotonous regularity, these machines have…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: VW Amarok

The Amarok arrived in 2011 as VW’s first foray into the world of pickups, bringing with it a level of car-like comfort that other trucks have struggled to match. All…

Tractors

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TRACTORS

22-year-old Fendt Favorit 515C gets £15k revamp

The allure of a new, top-spec tractor might win over many farmers and contractors, but Matthew Barnett has considerably more time for older machines with a proven track record. He…

TRACTORS

10 scraper tractor options for dairy farms of all sizes

No tractor is less mollycoddled than the one hooked to a muckscraper. Slathered in slurry from dawn ‘til dusk and shunting back and forth with monotonous regularity, these machines have…

TRACTORS

Tips for maintaining a JCB Fastrac 2170

Hip-busting dry clutches, a tanker-like turning circle and shonky wiring are just a few of the common grumbles levelled at early JCB Fastrac models. The list of ailments has been…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

John Deere tractors: Common problems and how to fix them

Tractors have a habit of breaking down at the most inconvenient moment. Independent mechanic Lee Morley takes a look at John Deere models, offers a few tips to reduce the…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Case and New Holland tractors: How to fix common problems

Tractors are a major expenditure on the farm, and breakdowns can leave you with a big mechanic's bill. There are some ways, however, that you can try to avoid costly…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Massey Ferguson tractors: Common problems and how to fix them

For the mechanically minded operator, it’s often possible to carry out minor repairs in the farm workshop. But with tractors getting ever more complex, there’s an increasing number of jobs…

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…

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

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Railway fencing safety: What livestock farmers need to know

Figures produced by Network Rail in 2019 show that incidents involved more than 800 animals through the year. Of these, about 80 were struck by trains. The downtime caused by…

FARM MAINTENANCE

6 tips to minimise problems with blocked fuel filters

Farmers across the UK are continuing to report problems with blocked fuel filters in tractors and other farm vehicles. An increase in fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) blend component for…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

How to avoid costly claims for rodent damage to machinery

Damage to stored machinery and equipment caused by rodents can be very costly. Individual insurance claims in excess of £20,000 are not unusual, and if insurance doesn't cover rodent damage,…

ARABLE

How to establish, manage and rejuvenate hedgerows

Healthy hedges are a lifeline for wildlife, providing food and habitat, including for many of the birds within the Farmland Bird Index as well as for priority mammal species in…

TOOLS

Top tips for chainsaw chain and guide bar maintenance

When a chainsaw is running on point, it will effortlessly buzz through a piece of timber while the operator gently guides it in the desired direction. This is very pleasing…

FARM MAINTENANCE

How to make fence posts on farms last longer

Preservative-treated timber fence posts have developed a pretty dire reputation over the past decade or so. Countless farmers have shelled out thousands for these products, gone to the expense of…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Managing welding fumes on farms – all you need to know

Farm businesses must now understand and mitigate the health and safety risks associated with fumes produced during welding and other metalwork tasks to protect the long-term health and wellbeing of…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Workshop heaters: The options and the rules

Winter is a prime time for repairs, maintenance, modifying or making pieces of equipment that will make life easier when fieldwork picks up again. But the thought of spending long,…

4x4s, cars and pickups

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4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: VW Amarok

The Amarok arrived in 2011 as VW’s first foray into the world of pickups, bringing with it a level of car-like comfort that other trucks have struggled to match. All…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: Nissan Navara

Nissan Navara D40 (2005 to 2014) Nissan’s D40 Navara was built from 2005 to 2014 and superseded the D22, which had been around since the late 90s. At its UK…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu D-Max RT50 (2012 to 2017) The D-Max RT50 was launched in 2012, replacing Isuzu’s line-up of simple, tough Rodeo trucks that had been knocking around since 2003. These new…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: Mitsubishi L200

Mitsubishi’s fourth-generation L200 had a nine-year lifespan and the firm stuck with the same 2.5-litre engine throughout. Initially, this block was tuned to deliver 134hp in base-spec models and 164hp…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: Toyota Hilux

Toyota’s Hilux is one of the most desirable second-hand pickups around, and as a result values hold firm, even for early examples. For less than £15,000, buyers will be looking…

4X4S

Tips for buying a second-hand pickup: Ford Ranger

For more than 20 years, Ford’s pickups were essentially rebadged Mazdas, and they were pretty simple, solid vehicles. However, in 2011 the firm decided to take the job in-house and…

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…

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…

ROAD LEGAL

A guide to keep you legal on your ATV

ATVs, such as sit-astride quad bikes and side-by-side or sit-in utility vehicles, have become indispensible on many farms and are a useful tool for contractors. Whether it’s to check on…

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.…