Pre Harvest Guidance

…a partial checklist to minimise risk

Minimise risks at harvest

As we approach harvest season, now is the time to start planning ahead, to minimise risks of damage to people and property, as well as to machinery and equipment.

Here we highlight five of the most common claims seen at harvest time, and suggest some golden rules to help you avoid them.

Harvest 2015 LincsTractor and machinery accidents

If using a work force that it is not used to or familiar with the operation of agricultural vehicles and the layout of the farm, such drivers will benefit from a training session to include the best route to use on the roads, the importance of clean indicators and lights, reporting of any faults immediately and minimising mud on the road. Also consider using a sign on the roadside verge 200 yards before the field, to inform other road users that tractors will be turning.

Foreign objects damaging combine header auger, drum, concave and rotor

Go slower and be especially vigilant close to trees and adjacent to roads, urban areas and railway tracks. Consider getting the trailer driver to walk around the headland as the combine is being set up.

Malicious damage or theft of machinery

If machinery needs to left overnight in the field, ensure keys are removed from all vehicles without fail, and where possible park out of site from roads. On farm, consider the installation of security cameras, CCTV or gateway sensors as a deterrent. Savvy parking of larger machines can protect smaller, more theft-attractive machines such as ATVs. It is also advised to consider staff training to ensure everybody is aware of any strange activity or persons on the farm, double checking that a person should be on the farm.

Machinery fires

Due to heavy usage, daily attention is needed to machinery, and always clean off and blow down all machines. Ensure maintenance and servicing of all machinery is completed regularly. Install fire extinguishers and consider having a water bowser in the vicinity.

Straw stack fires

The best advice is to not put all straw in one big heap, but separate into smaller, well-spaced heaps. Also avoid parking machinery next to straw stacks as they too will be destroyed if the straw is fired. Finally, where possible, try and store in more remote areas away from housing and roads.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and one should always ensure business interruption covers the hire of replacement machinery in the event of any of the above occurrences. We do understand the time-critical nature of a claim during harvest, and expect to provide a swift and efficient service to enable you to get back in the field.