Home' Smart Farmer : February 2011 Contents February 2011
HERE are excellent standards
set out regarding the safety
requirements of tractors.
Unfortunately because of limited
resources, these standards are not
always policed and a minority of
unprofessional importers are taking
advantage of this.
Here are some examples of things
to look out for. If the tractor falls
short in any of these areas, simply do
not buy it.
It is law that all tractors are fitted
with certified Roll Over Protective
Structures. This certification must be
displayed on the actual ROPS. When
looking at your next tractor check for
the certification plate.
The power take-off is the fast-spin-
ning mechanism that drives imple-
ments attached to the tractor. The
PTO must have a cover protecting the
operator against accidental entangle-
ment of clothing, hair or limbs.
Check that the tractor has a PTO
guard similar to the one illustrated.
The humble seat belt can be a real
lifesaver in the event of a rollover
accident. Check that the tractor has a
seat belt and that it has been certi-
Victorian law requires that all trac-
tor exhaust systems are fitted with
spark arrestors. While not a legal
requirement in other states, it is good
practice to reduce the risk of starting
fires. Insist on a tractor with a spark
arrestor fitted to the exhaust system.
A clutch safety switch means that
the engine can only be started when
the clutch is engaged. This prevents
the possibility of the machine being
started in gear and moving off imme-
diately. This switch is not easy to see,
so be sure to ask if the tractor has
If you go for a cabin model with a
front-end loader, make sure the
loader controller is a joystick con-
nected by cables and does not have
hydraulics inside the cab. Some trac-
tors have hydraulic lines connected
to a valve inside the cab. This set-up
is very dangerous in the event of a
hydraulic leak because it is very dif-
ficult for the operator to escape the
hot, high-pressure fluid.
Front-end loaders are an increas-
ingly popular feature on tractors.
One of the key specifications that
customers look at when buying a
tractor and loader is the lifting capac-
ity or safe working load. Be aware of
unrealistic SWLs being quoted for
the size of the tractor. If the machine
is being used to lift more than it
should, it increases the risk of
rollover or product failure that could
In addition to the above safety
issues there are general quality and
after-sales back-up factors to take
into consideration. Here are some
useful things to consider.
You want to deal with a company
that will still be in existence when
you need back-up. Find out how
long they have been operating.
There's a good chance if they have
been in business for some time, they
will continue to be into the future.
On the other hand, you get start-up
companies that sell for a year or so,
get swamped with warranty issues or
other problems and simply close
their doors -- and you are left with no
Continuing on the back-up theme,
check that the company is actually
big enough to back you with warran-
ty and spare parts. Find out if they
have a dedicated service department.
Ask to see the spare parts store or
Check that the front end loader has a
realistic safe working load.
A spark arrestor (right) fitted to the
exhaust system reduces the risk of
Ensure the power take-off is fitted with a guard.
Check safety features
Deal with reliable companies
Ask about pre-delivery quality
We all love a bargain and there are definitely some great value Chinese-made
tractors out there. But there are also some products of questionable quality coming
into the country. JOHN HUGHES helps you do your homework so you end up happy
with your purchase.
• more on next page
Tips on buying Chinese-made
To view our range of FAST TRACK homes available
Visit us online .... www.asth.com.au or phone 1300 468 446
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