Home' Central Canterbury News : June 12th 2013 Contents 8 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, JUNE 12, 2013
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AUTOGLASS REPLACEMENT & REPAIRS
Adaptability: There are different types of ATVs available, which means selecting the one which best
suits terrain and purpose.
By JEFF LILLY
CONTINUED Page 9
Sadly, we still open our newspapers and read
about yet another accident in a rural area
involving a motorbike, quad bike or some
other similar off-road vehicle.
Sometimes it comes down to plain stupidity
-- using a vehicle for an inappropriate purpose
or not observing simple safety rules, such as
wearing a helmet, where it is clearly important
to.Many years ago, I worked on a Marlborough
vineyard and the company -- Matua Valley --
was keen on employee safety and the correct
use of vehicles. They ensured all staff attended
courses that contributed to these ends.
However, your average farmer is on his own
and makes his own judgements about his, and
his family and employees', use of ATVs.
On the whole, farmers are sensible people
and careful employers, and yet accidents
Perhaps the first thing that needs to be
considered is what sorts of vehicles are right
for which tasks.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and
Employment has a set of guidelines for using
ATVs, divided up into sections -- working on
farm (inspecting farm and stock, mustering,
spraying and maintenance), carriage of goods
(light tools, equipment and dogs, bulky loads
and stock, light or secured loads and heavy or
unsecured loads), ground conditions (sealed
roads, steep uneven terrain, flat or gently
sloping terrain, hard surfaces or soft and
muddy), rider capability, and towing (narrow
trailer or wide and heavy).
Admittedly much of the information here is
commonsense but sometimes accidents occur
because commonsense has not been
employed in a specific situation.
I remember we used ''mules'' a lot on the
They were ideal for the row widths, had a
low centre of gravity, had well-protected cabs,
were easy to slip in and out of and had good
trays on the back for tools and other bits and
Not for me the quad bike, which originated
in the US as a sports vehicle -- a bit more
glamorous and racy but harbouring
ingredients for potential mishap.
But quad bikes are here to stay, so it must pay
to address ourselves to some simple
Quad bike injuries can be prevented -- they
aren't part of the job, and riders must be
trained/experienced enough to handle them.
Before anyone rides your quad bikes, assess their skills. If they need training, the best
option is a skills course and there are plenty of
accredited trainers out there.
Don't let children ride adult quad bikes!
Quad bike manufacturers set minimum ages
for using their bikes based on the age when
young people have sufficient strength, body
weight and mental ability to master safe riding
On all adult-sized quad bikes -- over 90cc --
sold in New Zealand that age is 16 or older.
We expect teachers to keep a watch on our
children in well-designed school playgrounds,
so it is a bit of a nonsense to let them come
home and go for an unsupervised spin on a
Wear a helmet. Helmets can be the
difference between walking away from an
accident and suffering a permanent, life-
changing brain injury.
Yes, I know it may seem ridiculous for a
farmer to wear a helmet. (Do you ever see
this?) But perhaps it may be more practical to
wear one in potentially hazardous conditions?
When choosing the right vehicle for the job
pay close attention to what your quad bike
owner's manual says about carrying
Most manufacturers' manuals say
passengers should not be carried. Also
consider the maximum towed and carried load
limits for your quad bike. Recent quad bike
deaths have involved passengers, some of
Quad bikes are invaluable farm tools when
they are used for the right tasks, but pushing
them beyond their limitations to do things or
go places they were never designed for can
have disastrous consequences.
Please note: 52 per cent of serious harm
incidents on farms investigated by the
Department of Labour between 2000 and
2008 involved a quad bike rollover.
In all of these circumstances manufacturers
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