Although the agricultural sector plays a significant role in ensuring food availability, no farmer can afford prolonged downtime as margins become more constrained and demand increases.
As we all know, farming is not for the weak of heart, and this includes the vehicles a farmer uses. In fields where machinery frequently operates for long period with little rest, engines frequently overheat and catch fire.
Heavy vehicles, such as tractors, combine harvesters and other farm vehicles, frequently experience debris build-up from the material on the ground because of the environment in which they operate. Improper maintenance is one of the main causes of vehicle fires on farms. It’s crucial to maintain cleanliness since build-up of debris increases the quantity of fuel that could catch fire and, in the event of a spark, will amplify the damage done to a farm or crop.
As a result of climate change, weather is getting more extreme, and this means that even a brief period of downtime for an important machine at a crucial time might have disastrous financial effects. Most farmers will only own one combine harvester. Even without the risk to people and the expense of a new vehicle, a combine’s downtime could lead to the loss of an entire harvest or seriously affect the farm’s value, because of the exact timing required for the harvest.
Combine harvesters are required to be insured, however the expense of this reactive strategy can still affect your farm’s annual income by a significant amount. Therefore, it’s critical to plan to stop fires before they spread out of control and understand how to make your vehicles more fire safe.
Understanding your farm
Before you can effectively secure your farm, you must conduct a fire risk assessment of your farm, not just of your vehicles, to determine exactly where a fire could start.
When developing your risk assessment, consider:
Sources of oxygen, fuel, and sources of ignition. Think about where they are and how you might reduce them, such as keeping hay and straw at least 10 metres away from any structures holding cattle and removing them from fields as soon as possible after harvest.
It’s important to consider all potential sources of ignition on your farm for example, many farmers are unaware that high-moisture hay bales are more likely to catch fire than dry ones because the moisture insulates the bale, increasing temperatures and increasing the likelihood of spontaneous combustion.
- People and goods
What could make the risk of fire worse? Where are items that could catch fire and cause harm placed and how do people travel around this?
To determine the potential areas of attack, consider an arson survey. Because they are notorious for being expensive, flammable, and challenging to put out once a fire starts, large vehicles can be a prime target for arson.
Consider fire safety measures, such as fire suppression systems, to lessen the damage that a fire can do. Consider the risk of a fire starting, the risk to humans, and remove or decrease these hazards.
Systems for fire suppression offer a quick and efficient way to give you the security you want. An autonomous system can operate in difficult situations, such as those long days on the farm and quickly detect and put out a fire.
At Dafo Vehicle, a fire is put out as soon as it starts by combining four essential elements: detection, alarm, suppression, and control. Forrex liquid will be dispersed with the use of a fixed linear heat detector cable that is activated at 180°C and an alarm system, which will be set off to alert the driver. Before a dangerous fire fully develops, liquid agent will replace the oxygen, cooling down overheated engine components and preventing reignition.
- Record, plan, instruct and train
Record your risk assessment’s conclusions and the steps you take as a result, create an emergency plan with the help of the fire department, and educate the necessary personnel.
To examine and comprehend past occurrences and stop a fire from happening again, suppression systems must have a clock and an event log.
Looking to the future…
For combine harvesters, on-board fire suppression systems are already required by insurance carriers, therefore it’s critical that your vehicle is well protected. Straw presses are among the smaller pieces of equipment that aren’t covered by these kinds of rules, but that doesn’t imply they’re risk-free.
Consider your vehicles’ overall function on your farm rather than just their individual parts when evaluating their danger.
As we look to the future and more and more electric or autonomous agriculture vehicles are used, it is more crucial than ever to put farm safety first. We need to control the fire hazards immediately, before they grow any more due to new technology advancements.