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Shift Work: The Massey Ferguson Dyna-6 Transmission on the Farm

Ask Gavin MacDonald why he and his father, Donnie, purchased their Massey Ferguson® 6490 and he counts the reasons, literally.

Gavin MacDonald and his father, Donnie

Gavin MacDonald and his father, Donnie

Specifically, the number of times he would have to shift gears while driving to the field farthest from the barn in a comparably priced “green” tractor.

“Twenty-one shifts there and 21 back,” he says. “We figured that was a lot of shifting to do with a lot of clutch work when you’re spreading manure or something like that.” Because the MacDonalds’ MF6490 has a Dyna-6 transmission, “you set it and it shifts on itself,” Gavin continues.

“You basically drive it like an automatic [transmission] car,” adds Donnie. “It’ll go through its ranges … and gear down when it can. That’s great on fuel economy.”

The first Massey Ferguson tractor Donnie bought was almost 27 years ago and from Brock Proudfoot at Proudfoot Motors in nearby New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. “Since then,” says Donnie, who now owns five Massey Ferguson tractors and one combine, “we’ve been pretty well with him for everything that he can supply. We get great service … right through to the parts and service, and all the guys at the shop. We don’t have a lot of breakdowns, but we get good service when we do have them.”

Donnie and Gavin do, however, comparison shop. “You just don’t buy something because the color,” says Donnie. “Massey’s always been competitive.

“They’re also very durable,” he continues. “Like I say, some of the tractors have been here for quite a while.”

See the full story about the MacDonald operation, “Budding Trend: Young People on the Farm.”

AGCO Aftersales Gives Back to the Community

Left to right:  Paul Mullins (Paramedic), Charlotte Mese, Charlie Farrington, Lee Brown, Emily Sharlot, Tina Williams, Capt. Paul Hogan and Gavin Doughty

Left to right: Paul Mullins (Paramedic), Charlotte Mese, Charlie Farrington, Lee Brown, Emily Sharlot, Tina Williams, Capt. Paul Hogan and Gavin Doughty

Following the very successful Discover AGCO event held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK last month, AGCO’s Aftersales group made a presentation of £2,135.38 to the Air Ambulance Service based at Coventry Airport on Monday (24th March 2014).  This magnificent sum was collected during a busy event with generous donations from the UK and Eire AGCO dealer network, AGCO staff, suppliers and the farmers who attended the show, with an equal amount raised for the British Heart Foundation.

The Air Ambulance is deemed very close to the hearts of most agricultural businesses, as many farmers and their families rely on the service to reach rural areas of the country. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) provide treatment on the scene of an incident, and a rapid means of transport to the hospital most suited to treat the casualty’s specific injuries and illnesses.  They attend a variety of emergency rescues, including road traffic collisions, serious sporting injuries, severe burns, industrial accidents and any other medical incidents that require rapid response.

On average, the service attends six rescue missions every day, costing approximately £1,700 per mission.   The state of the art Agusta helicopters can reach speeds of up to 200mph which means they can be at the emergency scene in less than ten minutes.

Livestock: Different Than The Family Pet

Animals are a great aspect of farm life, but they can also be a threat to the safety of those working with them. Livestock is a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings. The size difference, an animal’s unpredictability, and children’s lack of knowledge or skills puts children at risk.

Children often don’t view livestock as dangerous, yet, animals cause numerous fatalities and injuries each year.  When working with livestock it is important to realize some of the differences between how animals and humans sense their surroundings. In comparison to humans, animals:

  • See in black and white, not color
  • Have difficulty judging distances
  • Have extremely sensitive hearing
  • Are frightened by loud noises and high frequency sounds hurt
  • Are very protective of their young.

Many of these factors cause animals to respond as skittish and frightened of unfamiliar surroundings. Chores involving livestock care and handling are often one of the first responsibilities given to children, increasing their exposure to the dangers at an early age. When working around animals encourage your children to:

  • Be calm, move slowly, and avoid loud noises
  • Wear steel toed shoes
  • Avoid the hind legs of animals
  • Approach large animals at the shoulder
  • Avoid animals with babies
  • Avoid stallions, bulls, rams, and boars
  • Always have an escape route when working in close quarters

Even though an animal may look friendly, all animals need to be treated with respect. They can be unpredictable. Teach children to be alert when around livestock and while working with them.

*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater, Marketing Director from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

Protect Your Farm From Fire

Believe it or not, but winter is a very common season for fires due to the use of additional heat sources. Fire can be particularly destructive on the farm. From property to lives, take a few steps to prevent it from happening to you.

Children, especially age 5 and under, are at the greatest risk of home fire-related death and injury. Young children don’t know what to do and are likely to panic in a fire. They may hide in a closet or behind a bed instead of escaping. Practice fire drills at home once a year. Show your children all of the safe ways to escape a fire from every room of the house and every building on the farm. Designate a meeting place outside and make it part of the drill. One way to prevent fires in the house is to install smoke detectors. There should be a smoke detector on every level and outside bedrooms.

Fire extinguishers are essential items on the farm in case a fire breaks out. Besides the house, keep fire extinguishers in barns, other farm buildings, and machinery including tractors and combines. The local fire department is a terrific resource as well. Ask them to help you start the process of protecting your farm from fire. Both you and the fire department will be better prepared if a fire should occur.

And follow these fire safety precautions on the farm:

  • Test smoke detectors once a month and replace the batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings).
  • Replace smoke detectors that are ten years of age or older.
  • Place proper fire extinguishers in strategic locations, making sure they are accessible.
  • Get training on how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Plan your escape routes.
  • Designate one place outside where family members should meet in case of fire.
  • Keep matches away from children.
  • Don’t enter a confined livestock area or housing structure if it catches on fire.
  • Install lightning rods.
  • Store gasoline and other flammable fuels in proper containers in a cool place.
  • Turn off engines when refueling machines.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater, Marketing Director from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

7 Key Safety Tips for US Farm Safety Week

Farm safety is increasingly important as machinery becomes larger and more complex and operations work more hours per day. Accidents can not only be harmful, but can cost the farm valuable uptime needed to be successful in today’s economy. We’ve composed a few basic shop safety tips that can help ensure you return home safely every day.

1. Make sure that your work or maintenance area is swept and all spills are cleaned up after working on each of your machines. Slippery floors caused by spilled oil, fuel or water are often causes of accidents. Wearing shoes or boots with treads can help prevent slipping.

2. Never climb on top of shelves, boxes, or chairs when trying to reach something high up; use a ladder that is appropriate for the situation.

3. Back muscle strains are one of the most common types of injuries, causing almost 900,000 disabling injuries each year; half of which are caused by improper techniques. You first need to look at what you are lifting and ask yourself if you think you can do it by yourself. If you have any doubts, it is much safer to ask for help than to injure yourself. Bend down at the knees instead of with your back. This allows you to keep balanced easier, have more power when lifting, and reduces the chance of straining back muscles. When lifting, tighten your stomach muscles and look straight ahead. Doing so alleviates using your back and can prevent injury. While carrying the load, hold the object as close as you can to your body as possible and set down the object by using the same technique as lifting.

4. Make sure to wear protective equipment when working on machines. Wearing protective eyewear, ear protection, gloves, and masks to protect your body from burns, cuts, dangerous chemicals and loose debris in the machinery.

5. Be aware of children and pets when moving or starting equipment. Consider purchasing an AGCO AgCam backup camera to have a clear view when maneuvering in reverse.

6. Stay out of filled grain bins and wagons to avoid entrapment and suffocation. If you must enter a grain bin, ensure that machinery is not running and locked out to keep someone from starting the equipment. Wear a harness attached to a properly secured rope and have someone supervising the process to ensure your safety.

7. Most importantly, AGCO wants to remind all farmers that proper training is the best way to ensure you and your employees are safe and help avoid accidents. Consider developing a safety program that educates all employees on the farm of potential risks and what to do if there is an accident. Spend time and walk around your farm, inspecting all equipment and machines to ensure the risk level is minimized.

What are some other ways you are focusing on safety at your farm or business?


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