EXPAND YOUR ENGINEERING KNOW - HOW
This course complements Engineering I, developing skills to apply appropriate and innovative engineering solutions, to improve efficiency and productivity in agriculture and horticulture.
A basic understanding of Engineering function is assumed, equivalent to Engineering I.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
Developing engineering solutions
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Explain surveying, including basic principles and techniques, appropriate for horticulture and agriculture.
Determine earthworks required for an agricultural or horticultural site.
Determine appropriate water management for an horticultural/agricultural site.
Determine technological solutions for environmental control problems, in rural or horticultural situations.
Explain the operation of equipment commonly used to apply pesticides and other chemicals in both horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
Determine appropriate fencing to use for different purposes; including security and restricting the movement of animals, pests or traffic, in agricultural and horticultural situations.
Explain the operation of machinery commonly used to mechanise manual tasks carried out in horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
Evaluate the effectiveness of engineering applications in agricultural and horticultural workplaces.
Determine procedures for improving work tasks in agricultural and horticultural situations.
Machines Make Life Easier
-if you know how to use them properly!
Machines allow many things to be done easier and faster than they would otherwise be done; increasing efficiency and productivity in an agricultural or horticultural enterprise. By using machinery; manpower costs are reduced. There is however a “trade off”! Machines cost money to buy (or make), to maintain, and to run.
Mechanisation is beneficial if the cost of the machine is less than the cost of the labour.
If you can do a job cheaper or better by hand than with a machine (taking into account the cost of buying and maintaining the machinery), it may well be better to take longer and not worry about the machine.
One of the biggest expenses for any enterprise (after the cost of the land and buildings) is a vehicle or vehicles to transport plants. Retailers will at times need to travel to wholesalers to buy plants or make deliveries of plants to customers. Primary producers will need to make deliveries to customers. New, small enterprises might delay this major expense by modifying a tandem trailer and pulling it with the family car. This is generally only a temporary measure though.
A tandem trailer or truck which is used to transport plants or plant produce must be modified to do the following:
- Protect the produce from wind. So a canopy (preferably one that will totally enclose the trailer) must be provided.
- Hold the optimum quantity. This is often achieved by creating shelving. Pay particular attention to the height between shelves. Ideally shelving should be adjustable so that shelving heights can be adjusted according to what you are carrying.
- Take the weight of a full load. There can be a lot of weight in a full load. You should calculate this weight and obtain a trailer or truck which can easily deal with the weight. If pulling a trailer with a car, make sure the car is capable (rated) of pulling the trailer when fully loaded.
Modern farm tractors have continually undergone changes and improvements, which make them effective and up to date agricultural power units. Changes have helped to make the tractors more efficient, safe, convenient, versatile and powerful.
There are tractors of all sizes, and developed for every imaginable task available. Tractors can be classified according to wheel or track systems e.g. three wheel; two wheel drive; four wheel drive. They can also be classified according to use and size, e.g. industrial tractors; lawn and garden tractors.
Tractors are now manufactured, providing for much greater levels of operator comfort for example air conditioning and radios in the cabin. These comfort features tend to lessen operator fatigue and therefore improve safety.
Horticultural tractors are machines capable of pulling, carrying and operating a variety of implements and machines. Broadly they can be divided into two groups: tractors on which the operator rides, and pedestrian operated machines.
The engine is the source of power for the tractor. It must be properly coupled to the rear drive wheels to make the tractor a practical machine.
The clutch, transmission, differential and final drive are the parts that make the tractor engine versatile, adapting it to the job it is to perform.