The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) is urging its members to keep some key pointers in mind, as the 2019 silage harvesting campaign gathers momentum.

In an online circular, it asks contractors to remain mindful of the costs involved in running their businesses – citing the example of a 100hp tractor that is “costing €50/hour before you put a machine or trailer behind”.

The organisation also advised: “Properly cost your silage-making operation and charge accordingly – not for reasons of cash-flow but for a profit to allow reinvestment in the best machinery for your customers’ future needs.”

It added: “Send out invoices quickly and chase for payment.

It’s your money; extended credit costs your business dearly. Add interest to overdue accounts if they’re not paid after 30 days from invoicing.

Learner drivers at silage time

Alongside, the FCI has published a couple of timely questions and answers, to clear up lingering confusion surrounding the ever-topical issue of driving licences and how they relate to tractors.

L-plate and N-plate questions and answers for tractor drivers:

Question 1: If you hold a category W learner permit are you required to display L plates when driving a tractor and trailer?

Answer 1: You are not required to display L plates if you hold a category W learner permit. However, L plates are required for a range of other licence categories.


Question 2: If you already hold a category W and B (full) licence and you are driving a tractor with a trailer/implement attached that displays an L or N plate from a previous driver, are you considered to be breaking the law for displaying either of these signs? If so, what is the fine?

Answer 2: You are not breaking the law. There are no fines relating to such activities.

Source: FCI