Know How / Farm maintenance

Maintenance on the farm is essential to keep the place looking tidy and make sure machinery and buildings are in the best shape they can be.

So, if it’s chainsaws, strimmers and fencing gear, or clothing, tools or padlocks, we try out the latest products on the market and pick out handy items that make life in the workshop a little easier.

Key areas of focus:

  • Keeping your big machinery running smoothly
  • Maintenance of farm premises, fences and buildings
  • Best power tools to use in the workshop
  • Honing your workshop skills
  • Farmer machinery and gadget inventions

Case studies

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2017 Farm Inventions competition: Complex category

This year’s complex category in the Farm Inventions Competition offered up some high-tech items that required a serious level of planning and workmanship. Our contenders include a brace of drilling…

2017 Farm Inventions competition: Intermediate category

This year’s intermediate category in the Farm Inventions Competition showed up lots of clever creations that involved top-quality metalwork or simple hydraulic systems. We had a particularly strong batch of…


2017 Farm Inventions competition: Simple category

This year’s simple category in the Farm Inventions competition shows workshop ingenuity at its best. They’re often simple in nature, but also demonstrate farmers’ knack for finding nifty solutions to…


Surrey farmer builds 4m no-till drill on a £2,000 budget

Farm facts Mike Pinard, Lodge Farm, South Godstone, Surrey 121ha rented land Soil type: Weald clay Cropping: winter wheat, winter linseed and canary seed Mike Pinard farms about 120ha of…


Round-bale chaser slashes haulage costs

An farmer in Ireland has designed and built a potentially revolutionary machine that makes collecting hard-to-handle, tricky-to-stack round silage bales a doddle.  Chasing square bales at great speeds with high…


Farmer's combine tank auger modification makes life easier

Fed up with clammy herbage seed clogging in his combine tank, Herefordshire farmer Oliver Williams set about building a secondary auger to help wind the stuff out. Before the mod,…

Practical advice

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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.…


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…


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,…


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…


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…


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…


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Video: How to fit trailer air brakes

We’ve shown how you can get your hydraulic trailer brakes up to stratch, but if you want ultimate stopping power you should consider updrading to air. Why air? Installation: part…


Video: 20 handy workshop tools, gadgets and knick-knacks

Having the right tool, gadget or knick-knack at hand can take some stress out of the most frustrating farm tasks. Here the Farmers Weekly Machinery team presents 20 potential gems…


Video: 15 tools we wouldn't be without - part 2

Intro Clever spanner Ratchet wrench Retrieval tool Nifty water pipe tools We’ve been asking a few of our machinery-minded contributors to nominate their favourite get-out-of-a-fix bits of workshop kit. In…


15 tools we wouldn't be without: Part one

Intro Inverter Welder Coolant Tester Bead breaker LED lamp Magnetic tray Like a favourite pair of slippers, most people have a few firm favourites on their tool rack (or kicking…


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Workshop legends: We visit master mechanic John Towell

Across the country there are welders, mechanics, fitters and fabricators beavering away in sheds and out of the back of vans to keep the nation’s farm machinery fleet in running…

10 weird and wacky farm inventions from the USA

American farmers are specialists in inventing weird and wacky machines. Mark Newhall of US magazine Farm Show picks out some of his favourites. See also: 20 of the best farm…