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Farm property maintenance
ARM maintenance on well-run proper-
ties never stops -- it is an ongoing task
that includes every aspect of the proper-
ty, from its physical structure through to
crops, pastures and livestock.
More importantly, it includes all the plant,
equipment and tools required to keep the
property running efficiently.
The physical side of the ledger includes
maintaining the permanent structures of the
property including the house or home, sheds,
livestock and fences.
If livestock are part of the farming activities
on the property, then fences -- boundary and
internal -- should be a top priority in the farm
Strongly constructed boundary fences
should be designed to stop livestock from
wandering from the property while at the
same time keeping neighboring livestock at
bay and unwanted native and feral animals
Part of the maintenance program should be
to inspect them regularly to check for broken
or loose wires and damaged posts and carry
out the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
At the same time, all gates should be
checked to make sure they latch securely and
the hinges are working properly.
If it is an electric fence, use a voltmeter to
test for any voltage drop at various points,
check the insulators and replace any that are
worn, broken or missing and adjust the wire
tensions as needed.
Also, check the ground rods to make sure
they're still making good earthing contact.
with DAVID EAST
By DAVID EAST
HERE is a mind-boggling array of hand
and power tools available in the market
to make just about every job easier and
That is, if they are looked after well and
Tools only work as well as they're kept.
When a motor is covered in debris or drill bits
are dull, the tool will not have the desired
Power tools don't come cheap so spending a
lot of money on new tools just to have them
break down after a short period of use is not
Regular maintenance precautions help keep
all tools in top condition.
Portable power tools can be used for cut-
ting, grinding, drilling, power generating,
welding and producing compressed air,
among other things.
They can be categorised under three broad
heads - electric, battery operated and pneu-
matic (air) - and include such items as drills,
hammer drills, angle grinders, abrasion cut-
ters, jigsaw cutters, reciprocating cutters and
These tools are portable and mostly light-
weight and can be carried in utility vehicles,
ATVs and light utility vehicles.
The batteries for the remote power-type
tools do, of course, need constant recharging.
The cordless drill is probably the most com-
mon and most popular portable power tool
on most properties.
It is important that power tool accessories
and consumables be matched properly to the
tool for speed, performance and safety.
Without the correct accessories and con-
sumables, power tools may not perform to
their maximum potential or more important-
ly, within their safety parameters.
They should always be used, serviced and
maintained in line with recommendations
from the manufacturers' handbook.
Depending on the tool and its use, this could
be every three, six or 12 months.
Not all power tools have the same needs.
Drills are probably one of the more common
power tools but their effectiveness depends
entirely on the bits added to it. If the bits are
dull, the drill won't work as well and needs to
be sharpened or replaced.
Other tools, particularly saws, need to have
their parts regularly sharpened. Jigsaws, for
example, need to have a sharp blade for accu-
rate and precise cuts.
Additionally, these power tools, and many
others with a motor should be kept clean and
not allowed to overheat. Typically, this can be
done by letting the tool cool down after use
and cleaning it with compressed air.
Other tools, such as power sanders, drill
presses, and chain saws, also need to have
their motors cleaned regularly.
Another important reason why it's very
important to undertake regular maintenance
routines comes under the all-important head-
ing of 'operator safety'.
A rusty blade or broken gear can cause a
serious injury. Never turn on a power tool if
you think it has been damaged.
To help prevent problems, keep all tools in
a clean and dry area, away from dust and
moisture. Trapped dirt can slow them down
or stop them altogether. Too much moisture
can cause rust and easily destroy the power
tools. This is especially true if they are battery
Batteries should be checked often for leaks
and changed according to factory specifica-
tions. Electrical cords and plugs should also
be examined for damage before using.
Keeping power tools well lubricated is an
important task that helps maintain clean
movement and also prevents rusting. Larger
tools will require more thorough mainte-
Filters should be checked and changed
often and ensure bolts, hoses, and other small
parts are kept tight.
Tools such as table saws and bench grinders
will need alignment and balancing occasional-
ly to ensure they work properly. Blades and
wheels will also need to be replaced periodi-
With the regular checks, you can be sure
the tools you buy will serve you well for a
Well-kept tools will
serve you longer
Debris slows down performance
Cordless drill popular choice
Check batteries for leaks
Avoid angle grinder burnout with simple care.
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