Can this ‘2-in-1’ Irish braking system keep trailed spreaders in tow?

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK have shown that farming is the most dangerous industry there.

With 27 fatal injuries last year alone, you are 18 times more likely to die at work in the farming sector than the overall UK industry rate. Nearly a quarter (23%) of fatal injuries occurred as a result of being struck by a moving vehicle.

In the last decade, 36 vehicle-related fatalities in the agricultural industry there have occurred as the result of the operator being run over by their own vehicle or attached equipment.

With the UK’s European exit looming ever closer – and the need to review legislation in the UK likely to become more pressing – Distag QCS asks if the UK can take inspiration on this issue from the farm machinery industry here in Ireland?

Atkins Farm Machinery – the Irish importer of the Bredal range of trailed fertiliser spreaders, among other products – has taken action to ensure that its trailed units come with additional safety features – to avoid vehicle-related incidents.

Image source: Shane Casey

Atkins Farm Machinery, which is headquartered in Cork, now fits a ‘2-in-1’ handbrake and fail-safe break-away system, known as the Powerbrake-RT, to its trailed spreaders – as a standard fitting.

Whilst not yet a legal requirement in the UK, a fail-safe braking system is a mandatory requirement here in Ireland, as well as in most European countries.

Atkins Farm Machinery’s Trevor Richardson explained: “With the ever-increasing volume of vehicles on Irish roads, and the scale of agricultural equipment that needs to travel on them, the importance of road-worthiness is crucial.

Image source: Shane Casey

“To us, the safety of our customers and their workforce is paramount. This is why we have decided to fit the Powerbrake, which complies with all RSA (Road Safety Authority) requirements for use on Irish roads, and is of high quality when compared with the other systems on the market.”

Joe Deacon, managing director of Distag QCS, which produces the Powerbrake, commented: “The Powerbrake is an innovative solution to an increasingly-worrying problem.

It provides a highly-effective breakaway device, as well as a fiercely powerful handbrake mechanism, which can be deployed when the trailer is stationary to keep it secured.

“We are keen to work towards a safer agricultural industry and, as a result, the Powerbrake-RT can now be retro-fitted to any braked trailer.”

Image source: Shane Casey