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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FARM MAINTENANCE

Contractors change JCB Hydradig to self-propelled hedgecutter

JCB's alternative take on a traditional wheeled digger, the Hydradig 110W, has found favour with contractors looking for a versatile tool for farm maintenance operations. Rather than being limited to…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Remote-control tractor wins FW's 2021 Inventions Competition

Complex category winner Tom Beach’s remote-controlled tractor Tom Beach’s clever remote-controlled tractor and broccoli harvesting trailer is this year’s complex category winner. The 23-year-old agricultural engineering student works part-time on…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Hydrogen-based cleaning kits get old engines running smoothly

A system for clearing carbon deposits from coked-up engines is now being offered by a Warwickshire firm as an on-farm service. Hydrogen cleaning has been used in the automotive industry…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Farm inventions: Andrew Burt's winching and towing kit

Farmers Weekly’s annual Farm Inventions Competition has unearthed all manner of innovative and resourceful machines built in workshops the length and breadth of the country. These range from cheap-and-cheerful tools…

FARM MAINTENANCE

Ram pump slashes mains water cost for Devon farm

Tinder-dry conditions through late spring and early summer have brought about the unlikely return of an age-old method of water storage using hydraulic ram pumps. Cornish company Water Powered Technologies…

MUCKSPREADERS

Farm-built dribble bar improves contractor's slurry accuracy

It wasn’t that long ago that slurry was considered a nuisance rather than a commodity, constantly threatening to overwhelm the lagoons and towers built to contain it. But as on-farm…

Practical advice

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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,…

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…

Machinery maintenance

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Farmers report more problems with blocked tractor fuel filters

Urgent action must be taken to resolve ongoing problems with blocked fuel filters in tractors and other farm machinery, NFU Scotland says. The union has reported that once again farmers…

TOOLS

Safest options for changing wheels and jacking machinery

Perching bottle jacks on timber blocks or using loader pallet tines to lift farm machinery ready for wheel removal may have been the standard practice of yesteryear, but today’s heavy…

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Hydrogen-based cleaning kits get old engines running smoothly

A system for clearing carbon deposits from coked-up engines is now being offered by a Warwickshire firm as an on-farm service. Hydrogen cleaning has been used in the automotive industry…

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Workshop skills

MACHINERY

Farmer and 8-year-old son build clever bird-scaring robot

A clever bird-scaring robot capable of roving oilseed rape fields autonomously to keep them pigeon-free has been developed by Cambridgeshire farmer Will Mumford. See also: Grower keeps OSR free from flea…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Inventions Comp 2021: Handy home-built loader attachments

There is plenty of choice on the telehandler attachment market but, for those after something specific and bespoke, it often means building it in the workshop. Some of the inventive…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Inventions Comp 2021: Entries that will make you smile

Farmers Weekly’s Inventions Competition wouldn’t be the same without a batch of wacky entries – some of which save time or money and others built just for fun. This year’s…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Inventions Comp 2021: Mowers, rolls and harrows for grassland

Entries into grassland category of this year’s Inventions Competition centre on ways to improve the efficiency of resowing, rolling and ridding fields of weeds. Scroll down to see some of…

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Video

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MACHINERY

Video: Getting the best from a Kuhn RW 1100

With the assistance of Kuhn’s Paul Jennings, we take a look at the points users should be looking at when setting their machines up for a season’s use. Watch the…

MACHINERY

Video: How to get the best from your sprayer

James Stafford Top 10 tips Videos Sprayers are one of those bits of kit that need a good dollop of TLC to keep them running at their best. We talked…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Video: Conversion turns Discovery into off-road milk float

Charles Kinston’s off-road milk float took third place in the simple category of the Farmers Weekly Inventions Competition. Mr Kinston, a dairy farmer from Burton on Trent, is doing his…

MACHINERY

Getting the best from... a loader tractor

Intro Tip 1 Tip 2 Tip 3 Tip 4 Tip 5 Tip 6 Tip 7 Tip 8 Tip 9 Tip 10 The humble loader tractor gets some stick. It runs…

Insights

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