English for Agriculture - Beginners and Intermediate

The Workshop

The farm workshop is used for the following operations: repairs, maintenance, initial setting of machines, fabrication or modification, major overhauls. The workshop is often the most neglected building on the farm although it may have to deal with equipment and machinery costing a lot of money.

The size of a workshop, should be consistent with the size of the farm and the work to be done in the shop. In a small farm, a workshop could be a tool storage room that can be locked for security and a workbench with a simple homemade vice for holding tools while they are being sharpened or fitted with new handles. Since repair tools and supplies represent a considerable investment, most farmers will want to store them in a secure place. Many small farmers will not require a separate store for this purpose, but if stored together with hand tools and small implements, the number of items may motivate the farmer to build a storeroom. In a large farm, or commercial farm, there may be needed a separate building with a lot of equipment for maintaining the farm machinery, tractors and vehicles. A farmer may also use his workshop to do routine repairs and preventive maintenance during the off season, and to build or modify some of the equipment used on the farm.

The workshop should be easy-to-work place to be cost effective. Enough savings should be realized from timely maintenance, repairs and construction projects to pay for the cost of the building and the tools and equipment needed. Although it is difficult to put a monetary value on the timeliness, there is no question that being able to make emergency repairs is important. Some farm operations (planting, spraying, milking) are more sensitive than others to long interruptions, and being able to complete repairs on the farm can reduce delays to a minimum.

When farmer’s staffs have to use the workshop, some rule of conduct must be followed. All equipment and tools must have a place and the rule is that all users must return each time to its place after use. Most people have experienced the frustration of wasted time when trying to find a misplaced tool.

The main requirements for a farm workshop are:

  • It should be in a building that is centralized and well accessible
  • One person should be made responsible for the workshop and its contents
  • To be effective, a workshop depends on the trade skill of the men who work in it
  • It depends on the number and age of the farm machines and the size of the farm
  • It should also serve as a base for building and farm maintenance
  • The workshop should be well equipped and organized to handle issues that, if not taking care of them quickly, could put at risk a crop or livestock enterprise.
  • It does not matter how small is the workshop, it must have enough room for storage of spare parts,
  • It should have adequate heating lighting power and ventilation
  • It should contain a first aid kit and fire extinguishing equipment

Among the most important hand tools in a workshop are hammers, tongs, spanners and wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, punches and drifts, files, hacksaws, tinmans’s shears, feelers gauges, and many others.

Although it is prudent for most routine maintenance to be carried out in the workshop, there are occasions where in-service maintenance is best carried out in the field. Simple things such as slight movement equipment pieces caused by vibrations or some other forces could be solved at the moment, that is why a skillful operator with a basic kit should be able to make an emergency repair in the field to avoid wasting time and money by sending it to the workshop. For example, when belts and chains are becoming too loose or too tight, soil-engaging parts may move out of the position. In the field crop sprayers a blocked nozzle must be changed or the boom height altered. The skim coulter and disk coulter must be set and adjusted to the field conditions. Safety guards may need to be removed to make the necessary adjustments.

Last modified: Wednesday, 7 September 2016, 9:43 PM
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