Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Tips for a Safe Harvest

    By Stephanie Speicher





    It’s harvest time and we want you all to have a successful and safe harvest. As George Washington once said, "Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man." However, agriculture can also be a dangerous employment. On average, around 450 farmers and farm workers are killed every year due to farm accidents and around 100 are injured daily. So to help keep you stay safe during harvest, here’s a list of safety tips and tricks.




    • Read over your owner’s manual and check your equipment before use.
      • Rereading your manual probably doesn’t sound fun, but it’s been about a year since you’ve used this equipment, so a quick brush up on the manual can only help. When you’re checking your equipment make sure everything is clean and functioning properly.


    • Stay alert! Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and stay hydrated.
      • Get out of the equipment and stretch your legs every once in a while. Keeping your body healthy with enough rest and nourishment will help keep your mind healthy and alert as well.


    • Turn off all equipment before getting out and make sure everything is off if you need to check something.
      • Never try to unclog something while the machine is running! If anything gets clogged make sure everything is turned off and all moving parts have stopped before you get out and unclog it. It’s better to take a little extra time than to risk your safety.


    • Never go into a grain bin unless absolutely necessary, and if necessary be sure to have ladders, ropes, harnesses, masks, and other safety equipment.
      • If you have to enter a grain bin, make sure everything is turned off first. Always use proper safety equipment and make sure you don’t go in without someone else close by just in case.


    • If you need to drive equipment on the road, be sure to have lights and slow moving vehicle signs.
      • Be patient on the roads, pay attention to what other drivers are doing, and take every precaution to make sure you are seen. Drivers might not be expecting to see a large, slow moving piece of equipment, so stay alert and be cautious.


    • Use updated equipment. Having modern equipment with built in safety features is a bonus way to keep you safe.
      • If you’re in the market for a combine, we have a wide selection at including some newer John Deere models that come fully loaded with a multitude of safety features including lights, slow moving vehicles signs, handrails, slip resistant steps, seat belts, and seat switch-activated interlock. Having a modern combine gives you a little extra safety, especially when you’re also taking other safety precautions.





    The team here at hope you all have a great harvest this year and encourage you to check out our website for all of your equipment needs for harvest and beyond. Our goal is to help you find the equipment you need to be successful. Stay safe out there and have a wonderful harvest!


  • Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board Maintains Over-Order Dairy Price, but Creates New Formula for Fuel Adjuster

    From the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau






    (Harrisburg) – The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board (PMMB) maintained the Class I over-order premium price for milk at $1.60 per hundredweight, but approved a new formula for determining the fuel adjuster add-on.
    The new formula, which measures the monthly average price for diesel fuel and assigns an add-on based on that price, replaces the current fuel adjuster price formula that guaranteed a premium add-on of $0.25 per hundredweight of milk whenever average diesel fuel prices were $4.89 per gallon or lower. Under the new calculations, there will be no fuel add-on when average diesel prices fall below $2.70 per gallon.
    “We appreciate the fact that the board had some difficult decisions to make based on the testimony and exhibits presented, including the dynamics of addressing an oversupply of milk in Pennsylvania and the Northeast,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) President Rick Ebert. “We were pleased that the over-order premium remained unchanged, because dairy farmers continue to face a variety of financial challenges ranging from trying to recover from two years of declining milk prices to addressing increased production costs.”
    Meanwhile, PFB did not take a position on the proposed reduction of the fuel adjuster.
    “The fuel add-on to the premium was originally created to provide cost relief from drastic spikes in fuel prices that occurred several years ago. PMMB’s adjustment in the premium add-on recognizes the return in fuel prices to more normal levels and more long-term stability in prices experienced in Pennsylvania and around the nation. PMMB’s new formula will still increase the level of premium add-on, should fuel prices spike again in future months,” concluded Ebert.
    PMMB’s pricing orders for the premium and fuel adjuster add-on are effective October 1, 2017. The over-order premium and the fuel adjuster add-on mandated by PMMB are assessed on Class I (fluid) milk that is produced, processed and sold entirely within Pennsylvania.





    Editor’s Note:
    PMMB’s new formula for adjusting the diesel fuel add-on to the over-order premium.

    Monthly average diesel fuel price Diesel fuel add-on to the over-order premium
    $0      - $2.699
    $2.70 - $2.799
    $2.80 - $2.899
    $2.90 - $2.999
    $3.00 - $3.099
    $3.10 - $3.1999
    and so on . . .







    For more from the PA Farm Bureau, click here!

  • New Maxxum Delivers Efficiency Across Your Farm

    From Case IH





    As you search for new efficiencies in every aspect of your operation, take a look at the next generation of Maxxum® series tractors. From a new lineup that helps you stretch your equipment investment, these innovative tractors will help you Rethink Productivity.

    From the farmyard to the field, these new Maxxum tractors integrate the strength, durability and versatility you need to get more done with a single tractor. It’s the most innovative advancement for Maxxum tractors since the transition to the patented SCR-only emissions solution in 2012.



    Pick the transmission that’s right for your farm

    The list of innovations across the next-generation Maxxum tractors is long. You’ll find powertrain enhancements at the top. You now can choose from three configurations:

    • ActiveDrive 4 semi-powershift transmission
    • ActiveDrive 8 dual-clutch transmission
    • CVXDrive continuously variable transmission

    The new ActiveDrive 8 transmission introduces double-clutch transmission technology to the Case IH tractor lineup. This latest innovation delivers uninterrupted torque through more working speeds, faster shuttle shifts and simplified shifting. The 24-speed transmission features eight powershift speeds in three electronically shifted ranges. The middle range offers working speeds between 2.4 and 10.7 mph without torque interruptions or range changes, making it the ideal range for 90 percent of field applications.



    The ultimate loader tractor

    With a well-earned reputation as an outstanding choice for loader use, Maxxum series tractors aggressively shuttle between forward and reverse. A simple push of a button lets you tailor the responsiveness of the dedicated forward and reverse shuttle clutches to the task at hand. Plus, innovations such as Adaptive Steering Control (variable ratio steering) as well as automated transmission features, including memory shuttle and brake-to-clutch, help reduce operator fatigue during repetitive material handling tasks.

    This next step of the Maxxum series tractors’ evolution includes additional highlights:

    • An aggressive new grill and hood styling enhances cooling system performance.
    • Mechanical efficiencies in the transmission and automated features reduce fluid consumption by up to 5 percent, compared with the previous model.
    • An optional advanced loader joystick puts speed control at your fingertips during loader operation.
    • A heavy-duty 2WD configuration meets the needs of diverse farming operations.
    • A class 4 Heavy Duty MFD front axle — the toughest MFD front axle ever offered on Maxxum tractors — stands up to the most demanding applications.



    As you evaluate your 2018 equipment needs, talk to your Case IH dealer about which configuration — Maxxum ActiveDrive 4, Maxxum ActiveDrive 8 or Maxxum CVXDrive — best meets the needs of your operation. From there, select from five models ranging from 116 to 145 engine hp (95 to 125 PTO hp), and then further equip and customize your tractor to deliver the best return possible from your equipment investment.





    For more from Case IH, click here!

  • Farm Safety Month a Reminder to be Safe

    By Jayne Sebright
    From Lancaster Farming

    As farmers, all too often we wear our injuries like badges of honor. “This scar is from the time I got caught in the gate,” “This is the bruise where the cow kicked me,” “This is where the Kubota backed into me.” But as any soldier would tell you, badges of honor are often reminders of how close we’ve come to tragedy. For my son, it’s the scar on his arm that reminds him not to run behind the vertical feed mixer or any equipment when it’s backing up, and for me, it’s the broken collarbone that reminds me not to put myself between an off-balance cow and the gate next to her.

    Almost any report on occupational safety will list farming as one of the most hazardous of all jobs. Every day about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-worktime injury, according to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

    Unfortunately, too many of those injuries result in tragedy, with the report indicating that the industry has a fatality rate of 19.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers. The report shows that risks are high for farmers, their farm employees and for the children residing and working on the farms. In fact, in 2014 alone, an estimated 12,000 youth were injured on U.S. farms. September is National Farm Safety Month. It serves as an important reminder for every farm to have protocols and a plan to ensure the safety of both your family members and your employees. In 2016, the Center for Dairy Excellence joined with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and Penn State Extension Dairy Team to highlight the importance of on-farm safety. As part of that effort, each month we share safety tips from farmers on near misses and lessons they have incorporated into their farm safety plan.

    Here are some of what we’ve learned from this initiative.

    • Develop BMPs and protocols.

    Many of the near-misses shared over the past year have been incidents that could have been avoided if the people involved were following proper protocols.

    Having best management practices related to safety written down and reviewed with all employees can remind everyone to stop and think, saving themselves from a potential injury or accident. Protocols should be written for working with cattle, with equipment, and with chemicals and other potential hazards on the farm.

    Those protocols should also be posted near areas where farm workers are likely to be performing those tasks so they are kept front of mind. Many organizations offer resources to help you develop those protocols. If you would like help, please contact the center and we can get you in touch with those resources.

    • Have a plan. Do your employees know what to do when an emergency occurs? We have all heard tragic stories of when one farm worker approached a situation and made it worse by putting themselves in harm’s way.

    Write down your plan in case of an accident, a fire or any other type of emergency and share it with your employees and your family members. Make sure theyknow where fire extinguishers are and what to do toensure their own safety as well as the person

    involved in the accident. Again, many resources exist to help you develop that plan.

    • Create a culture. When I worked at Land O’Lakes, every morning I walked by a sign that shared how many days the Carlisle plant was accident free.

    When they hit certain milestones, like 100 days or 500 days, the staff would be invited to celebrations to reward their commitment to safety. This is something that could easily be incorporated into any farm culture. Think of ways to remind your employees and your family members how important safety is — start every meeting with a safety share, post the number of days you are accident free or personally recognize employees you see taking extra steps to be safe. The little things you do will create a culture of safety that will resonate in fewer accidents and a safer team.

    • Consider an audit. Thirdparty groups are available to come in and audit your farm to identify areas that could be unsafe. Often those audits will bring to light potential hazardous situations that you didn’t see on your own.

    You could also contact your local Extension agent and ask if they’d be willing to come out and walk through your farm with you to make sure your protocols prioritize safety of your employees.

    Your nutritionist or another key adviser may also be able to help you evaluate your operation as well. Having that outside perspective involved in developing your safety plan can ensure you’re doing everything possible to be safe.

    National Farm Safety Month is an ideal time to remind yourself how important it is to be safe, especially as you are working through a very busy fall harvest season. Don’t wait until an accident happens to serve as that reminder. If you would like additional resources to encourage farm safety on the farm, please contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or at info@centerfordairyexcellence. org and we can share some of those resources with you.

    Editor’s note: Jayne Sebright is the Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence executive director.

    Interested in reading more from Lancaster Farming? Click here to read it online and click here to subscribe!

  • Skid-Steer Safety for Farm and Landscape

    From Penn State Extension






    Skid steers are compact, powerful, and versatile machines because they can fit into a small space and complete various types of jobs in a farm operation. Due to their design, they are small enough to scoop out animal wastes, lift a tree into a landscape site, and quickly move payloads of rock, feed, manure, or building materials. Their numerous attachments make the skid steer as valuable as any farm or utility tractor. The usefulness of skid steers for agricultural and landscape operation is hard to overstate but they are not without their limitations. The skill and knowledge required for safe operation is often misunderstood and underestimated.

    This fact sheet addresses the safe use of the skid steer loader as used in agricultural or landscape operations. Hazards associated with skid steers, keeping the skid-steer in safe operating condition, and operator safety considerations are discussed. Since skid steers are often used by employees, how OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations apply to skid steers used in agricultural and landscape businesses is also reviewed.




    Skid-Steer Hazards

    The major hazards of skid steer use include being: runover by the machine; caught in an attachment; crushed between machine parts; trapped by loads that roll or drop into the operator station, and pinned by rollover or tipping of the machine. A runover can occur when: an operator falls from the skid steer while operating it; workers on the ground near the skid steer move out of the sight line of the operator; the operator carries riders in the skid steer bucket and they fall; or bystanders wander into the work area and are not seen by the operator. Statistics show that these riders and bystanders are often young children, but can also be co-workers or other helpers who have duties near the work area.

    Entrapment injury can occur when the operator or helper attempts to maneuver controls and levers from outside the skid steer's protective frame, or from miscommunication between the operator and the helper. Hands and arms have been mangled or amputated after being crushed between the lift arms of the skid steer and the frame of the machine. Feet and legs have been crushed between the skid steer and accessories such as buckets or tree augers attached to the lift arms. Working beneath a raised skid steer bucket has led to entrapment which may result in a fatal crush injury.

    Loads may roll back into the operator station if the skid steer is being used to pick up material that is bulky and does not fit in the bucket adequately or is not properly secured. The skid steer's protective frame offers some protection from the hazard of larger objects that do not break apart, but smaller objects, such as feed containers, landscape stones or brick pavers, may enter the operator station and injure the operator.

    A skid steer can tip forward from excessive weight in the bucket or from a heavy attachment if it is in a raised position. A forward tip can throw the operator out of the protective cab if the seat restraint is not used, allowing the skid-steer to runover the operator or the operator to be crushed by the skid steer bucket and/or load. Skid steers should have ignition interlocks that prevent operation of the machine if the seat belt is not buckled or the restraint bar is not in place. Operators sometimes disable these safety devices and expose themselves to serious injury or death from a tipping incident. A rollover can occur anytime the machine is being operated on steep slopes or uneven terrain. Skid steers can be unstable when combined with a heavy load in the loader bucket raised high.

    Skid steers are often used to scrape animal manure. Concrete floors and ramps, and skid steer tires, can become worn over time and result in less traction during skid steer operations. It may be hard to stop the skid steer on slippery manure push-off ramps, especially if the operator is operating the skid steer at high speed because he or she is in a hurry. Quick starts and stops with a loaded bucket can result in toppling the machine forward over manure storage fences, guardrails, ramp stops, or embankments.

    Other hazards can also lead to injury or death. Improper mounting and dismounting of the skid steer can result in serious slips and falls. Overtaxed hydraulic systems may develop high pressure leaks and fail within close proximity to the operator, which may result in an injection of hydraulic oil into a person's body. Injection of hydraulic oil can result in an amputation of a limb if not treated quickly and properly. Hooking and unhooking attachments may result in severe crushing or pinching injuries to hands and fingers.




    Skid-Steer Machines and Stability

    The skid steer's center of gravity is constantly shifting as the machine is used. Sitting on a level surface, two-thirds of the skid steer's weight is in the rear section of the machine and low to the ground at the rear axle. Lifting a load transfers weight to the front axle: the higher the load the higher the skid steer's center of gravity. Excessive weight in the bucket (stone or feed) or attachments (rock hound or tree pincher) can tilt the machine forward. Loads must be carried low to keep the center of gravity low. At the same time, do not carry the load so low that the bucket or attachment digs into or hits obstacles or curbing. Know the manufacturers weight limit and do not exceed this limit.

    Moving a skid-steer over uneven ground is often necessary. Rules governing the machine's center of gravity should be remembered and practiced. Keep the heavy part of the machine and load pointed uphill. If traveling with no load, keep the back end of the machine pointed uphill (go downhill frontward; go uphill in reverse). If traveling with a load, keep the load pointed uphill (back down the hill; travel forward up the hill).




    ROPS, FOPS, Side-Screens and
    Operator Restraints

    A skid steer without a rollover protective structure (ROPS), a falling object protective structure (FOPS), side screens and an operator restraint invites injury and death. The ROPS provides protection against being crushed by the machine should it overturn. The FOPS provides overhead protection against tree limbs, overhead hazards (e.g., construction sites), and loads that may fall from the loader bucket. Side-screens eliminate the risk of the operator reaching out of the cab, or co-workers and bystanders reaching into the cab, and becoming caught between lift arms and the skid steer frame.

    A seat belt or seat-bar restraint helps keep the operator in the skid steer seat and in control of the machine. A sudden pitch forward of the machine can throw the operator out of the cab. In the event of an overturn the operator will stay secured inside the cab. ROPS, FOPS, side-screens and seat restraints have been offered as standard equipment on skid steers for many years. These safety features work together to provide a "zone of protection" for the operator. Newer skid steer machines should have an escape hatch in the roof or rear window: be sure the escape hatch is operational, but do not remove it unless in an emergency. If your machine does not have all these devices, talk to a dealer about retrofitting or upgrading your machine.




    Interlocks and Attachment Locks

    Interlock devices may refer to electrical (ignition) or hydraulic system locks tied into the operator restraint system or to mechanical locks of the lift arms. An operator restraint interlock system will prevent the engine from being started or hydraulic controls from being engaged if the operator restraint is not fastened or positioned correctly. Do not disable this interlock and insist that everyone use it.

    Hydraulic cylinder lift arm lockout devices may be engaged from inside the operator's cab or may be engaged outside the cab at the hydraulic cylinder. When the boom is in the up position for any repair or maintenance, the lift arm hydraulic cylinder lockout device must be engaged. Countless deaths from crushing have occurred when lift arms were not blocked. Be sure that all operators understand the severity of the risk and know how to engage lockout devices. If the lockout device is not working, fix it.

    Attachments to the lift arms must be securely fastened. It is difficult to secure these lock levers from inside the cab. Standing up in the cab and leaning out to lock these attachments increases the risk of falling out and being run over. Shut off the machine, exit it properly, and then secure the locking levers. An assistant can also lock the levers. Be sure to shut down the machine before the assistant moves in to avoid the risk of crushing the helper between the bucket/accessory and the lift arms or skid steer itself. Make sure that an inexperienced helper has been properly trained on how to securely fasten locking levers. A bucket or landscape accessory that is improperly fastened can come loose when it is raised or used, increasing risk to operators and on-ground helpers.




    Reverse Signal Alarms/Beacon Lights

    Reverse signal alarms and beacon lights may not be standard equipment on all farm or landscape skid steer machines, depending upon age of the machine. Some construction sites and their business contract requirements call for landscapers to have operable skid steer reverse signal alarms and beacon lights. These alarms give notice to on-ground co-workers of the movement of the skid steer. Use these alarms and maintain them to reduce risk of running over and pinning co-workers between the machine and an obstacle. Reverse signal alarms and beacon lights are economical and easy to install. Check with your dealer to learn more about backup alarms and beacon lights.




    Hydraulic System Safety

    Hydraulic pressure systems pose many hazards that may be overlooked. Hydraulic system pressure often exceeds 2000 pounds per square inch (psi). Pin-hole leaks can develop from hoses even if there is no visible damage. If a leak is suspected, do not use your hand to search for the leak. Injury from injected hydraulic oil will demand immediate emergency medical treatment. If treatment is not obtained, it may result in amputation of the hand or arm. Use a piece of cardboard or mirror to inspect for leaks by passing the material over the suspected leak. Leaks should be fixed immediately. If you are an employee, report suspected leaks to the owner of the machine or your supervisor. Eye protection should be worn while checking for hydraulic leaks. Hydraulic hoses and fittings become very hot and severe burns can result by grabbing these components. Wear gloves or place your hand near the hydraulic part to sense for heat before touching it.

    Connecting hydraulic hoses must be done with safety in mind. Be sure hoses are correctly routed to avoid pinching between lift arms and the bucket or attachment to prevent damage.

    Landscape accessories (Figure 4) that can pivot (e.g., rock rakes and tree augers) can pinch the hydraulic hose with potential for loss of pressure under load and/or spraying the operator with hot hydraulic oil. Before disconnecting hydraulic hoses, shut down the machine and relieve the system pressure by working the control handle back and forth. High pressure in the system may prevent disconnecting the hoses if it is not relieved.




    Personal Protection

    Skid steers are often operated in dirty and dusty environments, inside buildings where machine noise reverberates off walls and exhaust fumes become trapped. They may be operated in situations that require manual operations in close proximity to the skid steer. All operators should wear a bump cap or hard hat, steel-toed shoes, long pants and gloves. Depending upon the machine and where and how it is being operated, hearing protection and eye protection should also be worn. Always wear eye protection when checking hydraulic hoses and connections. To protect against a buildup of machine exhaust fumes, open as many doors and windows as possible, use large exhaust fans, and shut off the machine and take frequent breaks outside the building. These recommendations are especially important if there is a strong smell of exhaust fumes in the air.




    OSHA Regulations

    Current OSHA standards and regulations for agriculture and landscaping do not specifically address skid steers. However, OSHA regulations require employers to protect hired workers from several hazards associated with operating and maintaining machinery, and from generally recognized hazards. Therefore common safe use issues that must be addressed in agricultural and landscape situations include the following: ROPS and FOPS, guarding of pinch points and crush points, operator restraint, hydraulic cylinder lockout, warning signs, handholds and steps, and training requirements, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

    OSHA is restricted from expending funds to enforce standards in agricultural operations and other small businesses that have 10 or fewer employees, but this restriction does not exclude agricultural or small businesses from OSHA regulations. The distinction between not being able to enforce regulations while still being subject to the regulations is important because of what is called OSHA's "general duty clause." The general duty clause is applicable to employers even if they have only one employee. This clause imposes a duty on the employer to provide a place of employment free of recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious injury even if no specific standard is applicable.

    To prove a general duty clause violation, OSHA must show that the hazard in question is: a) foreseeable in the workplace; b) recognized by the employer or industry; c) likely to cause death or serious injury; and d) feasible to correct. The hazards of skid-steer operation and methods for preventing and controlling these hazards are well known and feasible. Ignoring these hazards could result in significant penalties for an employer should an employee become injured while operating the skid-steer. Additionally, because these hazards and their prevention are well recognized, an injury resulting from ignoring the hazard exposes the employer to civil suits by the injured party, their family or their insurance company.




    Operating the Skid-Steer

    In addition to the hazards and issues discussed, there are many more suggestions relating to operator actions and behaviors important to safe skid steer operation. Operator error often overshadows machine safety design. Following these operating suggestions will significantly reduce hazards and risk associated with skid steer uses:

    • No riders anywhere: not in the bucket (Figure 5) and not in the operator's lap (e.g. toddlers)
    • Learn the blind spots of operation: bystanders (especially children) can be in blind spots. Valuable property (e.g., buildings, equipment) may also be in blind spots and can be destroyed when hit by the skid steer.
    • Never swing, lift, or move a load over a person.
    • Position yourself to avoid bumping control levers.
    • Wear snug fitting clothing that will not catch on levers.
    • Develop knowledge of standard hand signals for communications.
    • Learn to smoothly operate the skid steer's moving, steering, and lift controls.
    • Know the materials you are loading. Objects like large stones can fall out of the bucket into the operator's cab when the bucket is rolled back too far.
    • Use the 3-point method to enter and exit the skid-steer: two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet are in contact with the machine at all times. Always use foot pads and hand holds. Side entrance skid steer machines improve accessibility for the operator because they do not have to climb over attachments.
    • Drugs, alcohol, and even medications can impair the operator's ability to react. Heed warnings of medications that restrict the operation of machinery for the prescribed period of time.
    • Use tie-down attachments to secure the skid steer when transporting it on a trailer.
    • When finished with the skid steer, lower the bucket to the ground to park safely.
    • Avoid operating on slopes, ditches, and embankments when possible.
    • Scope out the work area for obstacles to smooth operation.
    • Observe whether overhead utility wires are near the work area.
    • Know the location of underground utilities if you are digging into the ground.
    • Avoid working with any type of pile or embankment that is higher than the operator's station or that could result in being buried in place should the pile or embankment collapse (e.g., undercutting large silage piles or high embankments).





    By following the suggestions offered in this fact sheet and in your skid-steer owner's manual serious injury and death from skid-steer operations can be avoided. Readers can find additional safety references and training materials by visiting the web sites of the Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safetyand Health (FRESH) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturer's, or by contacting skid-steer dealers and manufacturers.






    For more from the Penn State Extension, click here!

  • New Holland T4S - Setting New Standards in Comfort and Versatility

    From New Holland







    • All-new cab with best in class roominess & all round visibility 
    • Maximum versatility with best in class lift capacity, PTO options & tire offering 
    • Fuel Efficient & Powerful S8000 Stage IIIB engine 



    Representing a revolution in comfort and versatility within the sub-80hp tractor sector, the all-new T4S tractor series from New Holland Agriculture delivers the perfect balance between affordability and performance.

    Specifically designed to meet the demands of livestock and smaller mixed farm operations, the three-model range comprises nominal outputs of 55, 65 and 75hp.

    “New Holland recognise there is a strong demand for tractors that offer mechanical simplicity matched with an enhanced standard specification for improved versatility,” states Sean Lennon, Head of Tractors. “The new T4S series are the result of many years of experience in this sub-80hp power sector. Matching the very latest cab technology and sound mechanical engineering is just a part of the T4S tractor package. Small farm and livestock users will find the T4S series delivers an unrivalled balance performance and versatility.”



    All-new cab. 
    Purpose developed for the T4S, the new four-post cab offers exceptional roominess and all-round visibility. An opening roof panel offers additional sightline when working with a raised front-end loader. A flat cab floor provides exceptional space for this tractor category, with easy access to facilitate climbing in and out of the tractor for yard work. Powerful heating and air conditioning complete a comfort package designed for fatigue free hours in any task.



    Wide transmission choice. 
    As standard, T4S models are fitted with an 8 forward and 8 reverse speed transmission, with four synchromesh speeds split between high and low ranges. An optional 12x12 transmission offering is available throughout the entire range and is enhanced with the addition of the hydraulic shuttle. This steering column mounted lever can be operated without removing the hand from the steering wheel, enhancing safety and improving loader productivity.

    An optional creeper allows speeds as low as 0.108km/h - ideal for specialist activities and precision applications such as seeding.



    Increased Versatility. 
    Rear lift capacity of T4S offers class leading 3,000kg with two external assist rams. Up to three hydraulic remotes are available and offer standard flow of up to 48l/min. This ensures the required hydraulic performance even when carrying out the most demanding applications, including front loader and hay and forage applications.



    Wide PTO options. 
    All T4S tractors are fitted with a two-speed 540/540E PTO. Engagement is via a servo assisted lever, in-built soft start modulating engagement to protect both the tractor and attachments. As an option, a ground speed PTO can also be specified.



    Reduced cost of ownership. 
    Purpose developed for agricultural applications, the 2.9 litre three-cylinder S8000 Stage IIIB engine series delivers a combination of high power and torque (up to 32% of torque reserve) linked to excellent fuel consumption. Engines on all models feature turbo charging with an intercooler for exceptional efficiency and performance.



    Compact Dimensions. 
    With a compact wheelbase of 2,130mm, and overall height of 2,520mm, the T4S tractor is a thoroughly modern but traditionally sized ‘small’ tractor. Dependent upon tyre and wheel equipment, operating widths across the rear of the tractor span 1,440mm to 1,950mm, making a T4S the ideal choice as an all-rounder for a wide range of tasks.






    To read more from New Holland, click here!

  • Generations of Family Show Love for Antique Tractors

    By Kim Dunlap
    From Lancaster Farming

    Photos by Kim Dunlap

    (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune WINAMAC, Ind. (AP) — Many families have heirlooms — those pieces of history passed down from generation to generation. Some pass along pocket watches, knives or wedding rings. But for the Parish family, those heirlooms come in the form of large farm machinery.

    Antique tractors. Fords, to be exact.

    It all started several decades ago on the Medaryville chicken farm where Alvin Parish, 73, was raised. One of seven children born to Eddie and Thelma Parish, Alvin grew up helping his father farm the family’s 160 acres from the seat of several mid-century Ford tractors.

    Years went by, and his father ended up selling away one of the family’s tractors — a 1960 Workmaster. Alvin’s son, Mark, 49, recalled how the tractor ended up setting in the woods for about 15 years before the family was finally able to get it back.

    “We inquired about going out and asking about it,” he said. “It was in the woods, and the owner wasn’t doing anything with it. Dad had asked about it for a while, but time kept on. After a couple years, he was like, ‘yeah, Alvin, if you want that tractor, just come and get it.’” Father and son ended up eventually making that old tractor look brand new, but they didn’t stop there.

    “We saw another one, bought it and fixed it up,” Mark said. “Then it was like, ‘OK, now what are we going to work with?’ So we located another tractor and fixed it up. And then it just became a disease.”

    The Parish family now has roughly 20 tractors they’ve fixed up through the years, several of which have been passed down from other family members. The oldest is a 1947 Ford 8N that was once used to farm by Alvin’s uncle, Linard. That tractor now belongs to one of Alvin’s grandsons. His other grandsons have tractors, too, Alvin said, as will his great-grandchildren one day.

    Jake Berger, 26, of Winamac, is one of Alvin’s grandsons. While looking at his 4-month-old son, Beau, he said he can’t wait for the day he can teach his young son all about the Parish family tradition.

    Jake said he bought his first tractor when he was 14, and Mark and Alvin helped him fix it up. That tractor will one day be Beau’s because “that’s really how you keep traditions alive,” he said — by giving them to the next generation.

    “You listen to the stories that were passed down by what (Alvin) remembers growing up with them, and what (Mark) remembers growing up with them, and I’ll try to remember all these stories and tell them to Beau one day,” Jake said. “We’ll keep it going as long as possible.”

    And, in the age of giant combines and fancy machinery, the Parishes like the fact that they are preserving pieces of American farming history.

    “You have tractors now where you push a button, and it drives the tractor,” Alvin said. “With these, there were no cabs, so you breathed in the dirt all day under the hot sun. If we don’t protect this old stuff, it’s gone forever, and we’ll never see it again.”

    That sense of preservation is why Alvin said the Parishes also enjoy traveling and bringing their tractors along to antique shows, like July’s Northern Indiana Power From the Past festival in Winamac. The shows give the family an opportunity to show off their tractors to the general public, and gives them a chance to just be together doing something they love.

    “It means something,” Mark said, referring to having a family hobby. “It’s something you don’t see a lot of anymore. People often sell things because they don’t want it, but we kind of went off in our own way, and it’s such a neat feeling.”

    Jake agreed, but he still admitted there might come a day when the tradition does indeed end.

    “It won’t last forever,” he said, “but we’ll try to make it last as long as we can.”

    Photos by Kim Dunlap

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  • Tractor Stability and Instability

    From Penn State Extension






    No other farm machine is so identified with the hazards of production agriculture as the tractor. Today's tractors are highly efficient in power and fuel economy. Powerful engines, hydraulic and electrical components and accessories, PTOs even at the front of some tractors, and a continually evolving choice of transmission types (from standard shift to shift-on-the-go transmissions involving electro-hydraulic technology) provide maximum power and fuel efficiency.

    While modern tractors have become safer due to additional weighting options and wheel settings or even dual wheel and track capability, the topic of tractor stability and potential instability is still very important. This Fact Sheet discusses center of gravity and stability baseline in relation to centrifugal force, rear-axle torque, and drawbar leverage. Any tractor can overturn depending upon these physical principles, its use at the time, and the topography over which it is operated.




    Center of Gravity

    The central concept in tractor stability/instability is Center of Gravity (CG). A tractor's CG is the point where all parts balance one another. For example, when a two-wheel drive tractor is sitting with all wheels on level ground, the CG is typically about 10 inches (25.4 cm) above and two feet (0.6 m) in front of the rear axle when looking from back to front, and in the center of the tractor body when looking left to right. This results in approximately 30 percent of the tractor weight on the front axle, and 70 percent on the rear axle. For four-wheel drive and center-articulated tractors, the CG is located slightly more forward. Added weights to a tractor can affect the CG.

    For a tractor to stay upright, its CG must stay within the tractor's stability baseline. Stability baselines (Figure 1) are imaginary lines drawn between points where the tractor tires contact the ground. The line connecting the rear tire contact points is the rear stability baseline, while the lines connecting the rear and front tires on the same side are the side stability baselines. Front stability baselines exist but have limited use in stability/instability considerations, and are not normally included in such discussions. See Figure 1 for an illustration of a tractor's CG and stability baselines. Just as added weights affect the center of gravity so does width of the rear wheel settings, using dual wheels, or using a track equipped tractor.

    While a tractor's CG does not move, its relationship with stability baselines may change and occurs most often when the tractor moves from a level position onto a slope. A changing CG-stability baseline relationship means the tractor is moving toward an unstable position. If the CG-stability baseline relationship changes significantly (e.g., tractor CG moves beyond or outside of the stability baseline), the tractor rolls over. Tractor CG action is no different from the CG action on any other mobile vehicle. What differs is that tractors have a higher CG when compared to most other vehicles, such as automobiles and trucks. The higher CG on modern tractors is an inherent design characteristic and relates to their need for higher ground clearance over crops and rough terrain. Changing tractor design so that their CG is significantly lowered would largely defeat the purpose for having agricultural tractors.

    When a tractor is on an incline, the distance between the tractor's CG and stability baseline is reduced. If equipment, such as a front-end loader, a round bale lifting fork, or a chemical side saddle tank is mounted on the tractor, the additional weight shifts the CG toward that piece of equipment. As mounted equipment is raised, the CG is raised. As Figure 2 illustrates, a higher CG decreases tractor stability. In many normal working situations, ground terrain and mounted equipment combine to reduce the distance between the equipment's CG and stability baselines.

    Figure 2. a higher CG allows a side overturn to occur more quickly

    Other factors important to tractor stability/ instability include centrifugal force (CF), rear-axle torque (RAT), and drawbar leverage (DBL). Each of these factors works through the CG. Saying this another way, each of these factors may cause the tractor's CG to go beyond the tractor's stability baseline and overturn.




    Centrifugal Force

    Centrifugal force is the outward force nature exerts on objects or vehicles moving in a circular fashion. Within the context of tractor stability and instability, CF is the force trying to roll the tractor over whenever the tractor is turning. Centrifugal force increases both as the turning angle of the tractor becomes sharper, and as the speed of the tractor increases during a turn. The CF increase is directly proportional to the turning angle of the tractor. For every degree the tractor is turned tighter, there is an equal amount of increased CF. Since tractors have a higher CG, they require less CF to roll over than a vehicle with a lower CG.

    The relationship between CF and tractor speed, however, is not directly proportional. Centrifugal force varies in proportion to the square of the tractor's speed. For example, doubling tractor speed from 3 mph to 6 mph increases the strength of centrifugal force four times (22 = 2 x 2 = 4). Tripling tractor speed from 3 mph to 9 mph increases CF nine times (32 = 3 x 3 = 9).

    Centrifugal force is often a factor in tractor side overturns. When the distance between the tractor's CG and side stability baseline is already reduced from being on a hillside, only a small amount of CF force may be needed to push the tractor over. Centrifugal force is what usually pushes a tractor over when the tractor is driven too fast during a turn, or during road travel. During road travel, rough roads may result in the tractor's front tires bouncing and landing in a turned position. Over-correcting steering if the tractor starts to veer off the road is another example where CF is a factor in side overturns. The location of CG and amount of CF are points of stability/instability information tractor operators do not have at their disposal.




    Rear-Axle Torque

    Rear-axle torque involves energy transfer between the tractor engine and the rear axle of two-wheel drive tractors. When the clutch is engaged on this type of tractor, the result is a twisting force, called torque, to the rear axle. This torque is then transferred to the tractor tires. Under normal circumstances the rear axle (and tires) should rotate and the tractor will move ahead. In lay terms, the rear axle is basically rotating about the tractor chassis. If the rear axle should be unable to rotate, the tractor chasses rotates about the axle. This reverse rotation results in the front-end of the tractor lifting off the ground until the tractor's CG passes the rear stability baseline. At this point, the tractor will continue rearward from its own weight until it crashes into the ground or other obstacle. Some examples of this happening are when the rear tractor tires are frozen to the ground, are stuck in a mud hole, or are blocked from rotating by the operator.

    A tractor may overturn from rear axle torque before an operator realizes that the overturn is imminent. Remember that the CG of a tractor is found closer to the rear axle than the front axle. Therefore, a tractor may only have to rear up to about 75 degrees from a level surface before its CG passes the rear stability baseline and continues to roll over. This position is commonly called the "point of no return" (Figure 3). Research has shown that a tractor may reach this position in ¾ of a second, and that it may take an operator longer than this to successfully stop the rearward motion. There are many tractor operating situations where there is even less than ¾ of a second to recognize and successfully react to an impending rear overturn. For example, when a tractor is in a deep hole, or is traveling up a steep incline, the distance between the tractor's CG and rear stability baseline is narrowed. If excessive rear axle torque is applied, the tractor will reach the "point of no return" more quickly. Figure 4 illustrates this situation.

    Four-wheel drive tractors are less susceptible to the rear axle torque hazard than two-wheel drive tractors because torque is applied to both the front and rear axles and tires. Also, more weight is carried on the front axle, moving the CG forward. These features lessen the tendency of the front of four-wheeled drive tractors to lift off the ground. However, once the front end does lift, there is practically little difference between two- and four-wheeled drive tractors.




    Drawbar Leverage

    Drawbar leverage is another principle of stability/instability related to rear overturns. When a two-wheel drive tractor is pulling a load, its rear tires push against the ground. Simultaneously, the load attached to the tractor is pulling back and down against the forward movement of the tractor. The load is said to be pulling down because the load is resting on the ground surface. This backward and downward pull results in the rear axle becoming a pivot point, with the load acting as a force trying to tip the tractor rearward. An "angle of pull" is created between the ground's surface and the point of attachment on the tractor. Figure 5 illustrates these points. The heavier the load, and the higher the "angle of pull", the more leverage the load has to tip the tractor rearward.

    A tractor, including its drawbar, is designed to safely counteract the rearward tipping action of pulled loads. When loads are attached to a tractor at any point other than its designed location, the design of the tractor for pulling loads is defeated. A tractor pulling a tree stump can be used as an example to show the effects of safe and unsafe hitching. Assumptions for this example include a tree stump that does not budge, a log chain that does not break, and a tractor with properly ballasted (weighted) tires and an engine that does not stall.

    Suppose the tractor is hitched safely with the log chain wrapped around the tree stump and attached to the tractor drawbar. The tractor is engaged and begins to pull on the stump. When the tree stump does not pull loose, the tractor will react in one of two ways. The most expected reaction will be a slipping (spinning) of the rear tires. This will continue until the operator stops the tractor. The second reaction may also involve a slipping of the rear tires, but the slipping may be neither smooth nor consistent but may slip with a jerking motion and one tire may slip more than the other. Either one of these conditions may lead to a lifting of the front end of the tractor.

    When the front end of the tractor lifts, the rear drawbar of the tractor will lower. This is a function of tractor geometry. The higher the front end rises, the lower the rear drawbar is driven. As the drawbar lowers, the "angle of pull" and the leverage the load has to tip a tractor rearward is also lowered. By design, a load will always lose its ability to tip a tractor rearward before the tractor's CG reaches the rear stability baseline. As the load loses its ability to continue to tip the tractor rearward, the front end falls back to the ground. If the tractor operator does not stop the pulling action, the entire process will repeat itself, resulting in a bouncing of the tractor's front end.

    On the other hand, hitching unsafely, for example to a point higher than the drawbar, increases the "angle of pull" and leverage of a load. As the tractor tips rearward, these might not reduce to a harmless level before the tractor's CG reaches the rear stability baseline. When a load is hitched to a rear axle, the "angle of pull" and leverage do not reduce as the front end raises because the location of the hitch point (rear axle) stays constant throughout the rearward tip.

    On the other hand, hitching unsafely, for example to a point higher than the drawbar, increases the "angle of pull" and leverage of a load. As the tractor tips rearward, these might not reduce to a harmless level before the tractor's CG reaches the rear stability baseline.

    When a load is hitched to a rear axle, the "angle of pull" and leverage do not reduce as the front end raises because the location of the hitch point (rear axle) stays constant throughout the rearward tip.

    A higher hitch point also increases the pressure of the rear tires against the ground. This may prevent the rear tires from slipping but when the rear tires stop slipping; rear axle torque will begin lifting the front end. Accident reports suggest that most cases of improper hitching are associated with pulling and dragging non-mobile objects such as tree stumps, logs, fence posts, boulders, non-wheeled equipment such as large livestock feeders and tanks, and farm equipment mired in mud. The tractor operator is often tempted to hitch above the drawbar to lift the load while pulling it. Figure 6 and 7 illustrate safe and unsafe hitching.

    Tractors trying to pull a load up an incline take less leverage to flip rearward because the tractor's CG is closer to the rear stability baseline. It is possible to flip a tractor rearward when the load is properly hitched to the drawbar when several factors occur. If the tractor is headed up an incline at too fast of a speed and the load, such as a large log, suddenly digs into the ground, the rearward pull may be so quick and strong that the momentum generated by the rearward lift may result in a rear overturn.




    Roll-Over Protective Structure and Seat Belt

    The rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seat belt, when worn, are the two most important safety devices to protect operators from death during tractor overturns. It is important to remember that the ROPS does not prevent tractor overturns, but it does prevent the operator from being crushed during an overturn. For the ROPS to provide the best protection, the operator must stay within the protective frame of the ROPS. Therefore, the operator must wear the seatbelt. Not wearing the seat belt may defeat the primary purpose of the ROPS.

    A ROPS often limits the degree of rollover, which may also reduce the probability of injury to the operator. A ROPS with an enclosed cab further reduces the likelihood of a serious injury because the operator is protected by the sides and windows of the cab assuming that the cab doors and windows were not removed.





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  • LLCs Provide Protection, Flexibility for Family Farms

    By Philip Gruber
    Lancaster Farming





    Structuring a farm as a limited liability company can help farmers protect their assets and transfer property smoothly.

    An LLC combines the best elements of a partnership and a corporation. It keeps shareholders from being personally on the hook for the company’s liabilities, said Chris Hogan, a law fellow at the Ohio State University Agricultural Law and Taxation Program.

    Hogan spoke in an Aug. 16 webinar presented by the Agricultural and Food Law Consortium.

    The LLC is a fairly new concept &tstr; it was developed in Wyoming in the 1970s &tstr; but it is now a staple of the small business landscape.

    All 50 states spell out the basic provisions for an LLC in statute. Some states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont, follow a nationally promoted uniform law.

    “One of the great things about an LLC is there can be an unlimited number of LLC members, and members aren’t just persons,” Hogan said.

    That means that other LLCs, trusts and estates can all have a stake in an LLC.

    A single person can operate as an LLC too, but the person must elect to be treated as a corporation by the IRS. Otherwise, at tax time the business will have to fill out a Schedule C as a sole proprietorship or a Schedule F as a farm, Hogan said.

    If a farmer has no employees, an LLC probably will not be very helpful, said Robert Moore of the Wright & Moore law firm in Delaware, Ohio. If something goes wrong, the farmer is probably the cause, and LLC protections will not apply.

    As liability protection, LLCs are best seen as a supplement to liability insurance, Moore said.

    At the same time, some courts have started allowing LLC shareholders to be held personally liable for the business’s deeds, a situation known as piercing the corporate veil.

    While this interpretation would seem to conflict with the nature of an LLC, it is designed for serious problems, such as when an owner is commingling personal and business funds, or is committing fraud.

    “An LLC isn’t a perfect shield,” Hogan said.

    One thing a limited liability company is particularly useful for is holding family farmland.

    Parents often want to keep the farm in the family and hope their children can own the land together.

    Joint ownership, in which all of the children have their names on the deed, is the simplest way to meet those goals, but then each owner has partition rights.

    Essentially, one person could seek to sell her stake by asking the court to divide the property between the owners.

    In Ohio at least, judges usually just sell the farm and split the proceeds, Moore said.

    When an LLC owns the land, things don’t work like that.

    Instead of having their names on the deed, the siblings will each have an ownership stake in the LLC. If someone wants to sell, there must be a vote.

    LLCs may also be designed so the other family members have a chance to buy the ownership stake before it goes outside the family.

    The stake can be sold to a family member at a discount, typically 10 to 25 percent. If the discount goes much higher, the IRS may scrutinize the arrangement, Moore said.

    A family buyer can also be given the opportunity to buy the property over time.

    If the family member had to pay up front and could not come up with the money, the right of first refusal would do little good, Moore said.

    In short, the selling arrangement is designed to make the deal too good for family members to pass up and unfavorable enough that creditors cut a deal and move on.

    “A well-designed LLC can make it very difficult for land to leave the family without the consent of the family,” Moore said.

    An LLC would not prevent the land from ever being sold &tstr; a trust would be better for that &tstr; but Moore finds that an LLC is a better option in most cases.

    Splitting the farm into several LLCs can also be a good way to get the cash-poor next generation into ownership.

    Buying even a 10 percent stake in an entire farm is beyond the means of most 25-year-olds, and parents might be reluctant to give their child a six-figure ownership stake, Moore said.

    Instead, the trucks and machinery could be split into one LLC and the land into another, with both owned by an operating LLC.

    When the value of those big-ticket items is subtracted from the operating entity, buying in becomes much more feasible, Moore said.

    Still, farmers will have to account for the inheritance of their nonfarming children.

    Because most of the family’s assets are farm-related, not personal, the parents will probably have to find a farm asset to give to their off-farm heirs, Moore said.

    It doesn’t make sense to give these heirs a stake in the operating entity &tstr; they won’t know when the farm needs a new tractor &tstr; so Moore suggested giving them ownership in the land LLC.

    The heir could then be required to lease the stake to the farming siblings for a long term, such as 10 or 20 years.

    In this way, the off-farm heirs receive something of value, but as long as they get their land rent, they have no say in the farm’s operation.

    “They’re kind of a silent partner, if you want to look at it that way,” Moore said.

    Some heirs won’t be happy that they can’t cash out, but this arrangement keeps the land from going outside the family.

    Keeping the land and equipment in separate entities also affords some protection in case there is a mishap with the machinery on the road.

    It’s difficult for the liability of the equipment LLC to leap over to the land LLC, Moore said.






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  • Basic Dozer Safety Tips to Consider Throughout Operation

    From John Deere MachineFinder






    While all John Deere equipment is designed with safety in mind, the design itself will not ensure 100% safe operation. The equipment operator can take several steps to ensure dozer safety before, during, and after operation.


    Here are some steps that should be taken by all dozer operators to ensure they’re kept safe while on the jobsite.





    Dozer Safety: Before Operation

    • Buckle the seatbelt before starting the engine. In the case of a rollover, the seatbelt will keep you in place and will allow the ROPS to do its job.
    • Make a quick check of the dozer’s operational controls. Doing so will make you aware of any malfunctioning controls before the equipment is in use.
    • Always think about the next action before actually doing it.





    Dozer Safety: During Operation

    • Reduce speed when working in close areas. You can never predict what might jump in the operating path (front or back).
    • Reduce speed when working in rough terrain. This will help to maintain control of the unit.
    • When faced with obstructions, cross over them at an angle, ease up to the break-over point, balance slowly, and ease down to minimize impact.
    • On steep slopes, be sure to work diagonally (starting from the base and working upwards).
    • When not dozing, be sure to travel at low speeds with the blade as close to the ground as possible.
    • When filling a ditch, it’s best to do so at a perpendicular angle.
    • When shutting the unit down, be sure the machine is parked on a level surface. Also, move the F and R lever to neutral and engage the parking lock lever. Then, lower the blade and any attachments down to the ground. Slow the equipment to low idle before shutting it down completely.





    Dozer Safety: After Operation

    • When shutting down for the day, it’s a good idea to always lock up the machine.
    • If you’re planning on hauling the dozer, it’s important to use caution when loading it on or off the trailer. This is one of the most likely times for a tipping accident. Work with another team member and use them as a spotter during the process.





    Final Thoughts

    As an operator, it’s important to think about every move you’re going to make with your dozer before you actually make it. Regardless of experience, it only takes one mistake to cause an accident. If you have any additional questions about John Deere dozers or dozer safety, contact your local John Deere dealer.





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