Machinery and Equipment (Engineering I)

Course CodeBSC105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Engineering I BSC105


  • When you understand how tools and machines work - you have a basis for using them correctly
  • You will know how to select the right tool for the job
  • You will know to identify problems before they end up as expensive repairs and replace machinery less often.
  • Understand how an engine works.
  • Learn about the equipment used by gardeners, farmers, landscapers, land managers
An introductory subject which aims to develop your ability to manage the selection, operation and maintenance of tools and machinery, with particular reference to professional gardening, agriculture and horticulture. Learn the use and operation of tools, equipment and machines to keep them running smoothly.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Engine Operation
  2. Hydraulics
  3. Machinery Components
  4. Hand Tools
  5. Power Tools
  6. Tractors
  7. Equipment Maintenance
  8. Specific Workplace Requirements


  • To explain the operation of different types of motors, including petrol and electric engines.
  • To explain the principles of hydraulics in relation to agricultural and horticultural use.
  • To explain the operation of the main components of machinery commonly used in agriculture and horticulture including cooling, lubrication, fuel distribution, ignition and transmission systems.
  • To explain the safe and effective operation of different hand tools commonly used in agriculture or horticulture.
  • To determine the safe and appropriate operation of power tools in horticultural
    • and agricultural situations.
  • To explain the safe and appropriate operation of a tractor in horticultural
    • and agricultural situations.
  • Explain the maintenance procedures for different equipment commonly used in agriculture and horticulture, including hand tools, power tools and tractors.
  • To determine appropriate equipment for minimum work requirements in an agricultural or horticultural workplace.

Petrol Engines

Most machines used on a farm or in a horticultural enterprise will be driven by either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engines. Both engines are different types of internal combustion engines. Each of these two types of engines has certain advantages and disadvantages.
They both run by a series of controlled explosions occurring in an “internal” (enclosed) chamber or cylinder. The size of the equipment to be powered will dictate whether you use a two stroke or four stoke engine. Equipment size will also dictate how many cylinders are required. Two stroke petrol engines are used to power smaller equipment like chain saws and small horticultural equipment. Four stoke engines are used for larger equipment and may have one or more cylinders depending the power required.
When an explosion occurs it causes movement in parts of the engine. That movement is translated to a shaft which is caused to turn. As the shaft turns (rotates) it is able to cause something else to turn that does certain work (e.g. turning the wheels of a tractor, the blades of a mower or the parts of a hydraulic pump).  
The four stroke engine has one power stroke in every four stokes, and the two stroke has one power stroke in every two strokes. This is explained in more detail later in this lesson. A four stroke is obviously more powerful, but also more expensive and more complex. In a two stroke engine, the intake, exhaust, power and compression strokes of the engine occur in one rotation of the crankshaft.  
With a four stroke engine there is more time between this series of events with the crankshaft making two complete rotations for the four stages of one stroke to happen. Two-stroke engines have the advantage over 4-stroke engines by being lighter. They can be used at angles and upside down as there is no oil in the crankcase. A two stroke is however less efficient than 4-stroke engines and requires lubricating oil to be mixed in with the fuel and tends to run less evenly. Two stroke engines usually run at higher speeds than four stroke engines. Four stroke engines have intake and exhaust valves, two stroke engines have intake and exhaust ports.

How Engines Work -The Operating Cycle

In any internal combustion engine there are a number of essential parts there are arranged so that a basic series of events occur. This series of events is usually known as the operating cycle.
The internal combustion engine is a form of heat engine. Heat energy, produced by burning fuel within the engine, is changed into mechanical energy. Different types of fuel include petrol, vaporising oil (V.O) or diesel.  While different types of fuel are used in different types of equipment, this does not alter the basic operating cycle.
The essential parts of an engine are:
  1. The cylinder – fuel is introduced into the cylinder for burning
  2. The piston – this moves up and down within the cylinder
  3. The cylinder head – this seals off the top of the cylinder
  4. The crankshaft – this rotates
  5. The connecting rod – connects the piston to the crankshaft
  6. The inlet valve – allows entry of fuel into the cylinder
  7. The exhaust valve – allows the exit of gases
  8. A camshaft – this opens the valves
  9. Valve springs – these close the valves
  10. The flywheel – this is fitted to the crankshaft to help it rotate
Learn about all of these engine parts, how they work together, the machinery that petrol engines are used to drive -and a lot more.



  • You can study online or through distance education in your own time. Lots of practical components are included in this course.
  • You will learn from people that have worked in the trade.
  • ACS is proud of their student services approach - we are there to help you through your course, We answer questions promptly.
  • You can be an asset in your workplace - machinery is the foundation of most agricultural and horticultural operations - knowing how machines work and how to maintain them makes you a valuable employee. If you are a business owner it will reduce your downtime as well as save on expensive repairs later.



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