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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WORKSHOP SKILLS

How clever mobile cow mast helps improve beef breeding

Cumbrian farmer Edward Dean has built a portable mast to help transfer valuable performance-monitoring data from his Limousin herd in the field back to the farm’s computer. The rolling hills…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Farmer saves cash by 3D printing parts for home-built drill

Farm workshops are a brilliant starting point for heavy-metal machinery projects but, for inventions requiring delicate components, there’s inevitably a point at which home-builders have to resort to buying bits…

BALERS AND WRAPPERS

Farmer builds ingenious twin-chamber double square baler

Keen to increase the pedestrian pace of small-bale hay production, Virginia farmer Rusty Inskeep designed and built a baling system that almost tripled the farm’s output. The slick setup allows…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Seasoned inventor reveals his niftiest farm creations

When it comes to ingenuity and resourcefulness, farmers seem to be in a league of their own. And if the annual Farmers Weekly Farm Inventions competition is anything to go…

FARM MAINTENANCE

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…

Practical advice

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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,…

FARM MAINTENANCE

How to make fence posts on farms last longer

Marvellous stuff, wood. It can be turned into a desk, a violin or a 50ft yacht. But when it comes to knocking a wooden post into the ground to keep…

COMPLIANCE

Farming near footpaths - the law for arable farmers

The majority of farms have some form of public right of way across them, whether it is a footpath, bridleway or byway. But when walkers are heading for your crops,…

Machinery maintenance

MACHINERY MAINTENANCE

Alliance, Vredestein and Continental reveal new tyre ranges

There has been a raft of early-year developments in the tyre world from some of the main manufacturers. Vredestein has launched a new Traxion 65 rubber, which uses technology from…

COMBINES

Guide to buying a used hill-sider combine

True full body levelling on combines is not just a nice-to-have feature – for some farms it’s essential. And although the additional cost when buying new isn’t as much as…

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…

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…

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Workshop skills

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Farm Inventions Competition extended until 7 February

We've decided to extend the Farm Inventions Competition deadline by a week, which means you have until 7 February 2020 to get your entries in. To inspire you, we have…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

HSE to carry out welding inspections after safety alert

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is sending inspectors to businesses across the country to check that welding risks are managed properly, following a safety alert issued in February 2019.…

WORKSHOP SKILLS

Fencing kit highlights from the farm inventions competition

Over the years, our annual Farm Inventions Competition has yielded a bumper crop of farm-fettled fencing tools and nifty hedge-taming equipment. We revisit a few of the highlights. See also:…

HARVEST EQUIPMENT

Aussie contractor converts old bin lorries to bale chasers

An innovative Aussie contractor has designed and built a gang of self-propelled chasers, each one capable of stacking up to 1,600 bales in a day. Resourceful inventor and keen up-cycler…

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Video

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TOOLS

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…

MACHINERY

Simple but effective trailer brake upgrades (part 2)

One in five farm trailers have brakes that fail to pull them up within the legal stopping limit. In the second of a two part series, Nick Fone and Oliver…

MACHINERY

Video: Electric chainsaws on test

The test Bosch Husqvarna Makita Oregon Stihl Verdict All the main players in the world of woodcraft are now offering cordless, battery-powered chainsaws. But what’s wrong with a good two-stroke…

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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TRAILERS

How rolling road test can help keep trailer brakes shipshape

It's easy to assume that new trailers come with tuned-up, highly efficient braking kits, but farm manager Jim Scarratt found a very different result when he ran his up-to-date load…