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Thursday, 03 March 2022 13:55

Click go the shears... not the shearers!

Written by  Staff Reporters
Due to the busy nature of shearing sheds, the opportunity for an accident to happen is high. Due to the busy nature of shearing sheds, the opportunity for an accident to happen is high.

Safety should be a key consideration for all on-farm activities, while not forgetting less commonly used areas like woolsheds.

Due to the busy nature of shearing sheds, the opportunity for an accident to happen is high, particularly when numerous people are working at the same time. Therefore, it might be timely to review the current safeguards that your shearing machinery and plant offers. Start by asking some basic questions, such as:

   - Does my shearing plant offer safety cut-out in case of lock-up?

   - Is my shearing plant isolated from electric shock?

   - Does my wool-press have safety guards and is it safe to operate?

Injuries that are preventable cost farmers, contractors and the wool and shearing industries time, money and distress. Due to advances in technology, modern shearing machinery incorporates more advanced safety features. That means the cost of upgrading to a higher quality machine is a small price to pay for superior safety in a busy, high-stress work environment.

Heiniger’s New Zealand national sales manager, Kevin Thirkell, articulates what the risks looks like in a real-world context. “Shearers, contractors and farmers increasingly demand tools that provide them with function that doesn’t compromise on safety,” he explains.

“For example, in the past when there has been a lock-up, the hand piece can spin around at approximately 3,500rpm – making it an incredibly dangerous and potentially life-threatening weapon – with the risk of serious injury. A safe and light shearing machine, with the advantage of a downtube isolated from all electrified components, reduces any risk of electric

He says the Heiniger Evo Shearing Plant has fast become a market-leader, as it was the first shearing plant in the world to be manufactured with an electronic safety switch stopping the machine in case of dangerous handpiece ‘lock-ups’, while also being extremely light, at only 7.8kg (machine only).

Looking at wool-presses, Thirkell advises that features to look for when upgrading should include a fully fitted and approved mechanical safety screen and safety device for operator safety.

“Alongside toughness and durability for intensive use over multiple seasons, and ensuring expensive servicing is reduced,” he adds. “Of course, speed is a key driver of output, while good ergonomics – such as a low filling height to avoid stress and strain on an operator’s back.”

The latest machines can use automated functions such as fully automatic bale ejection system to help reduce strain on the operator and increase the efficiency of the whole operation.

Heiniger’s TPW Xpress Wool-press is widely used by farmers, shearing contractors and many wool-stores where the above requirements are key must-haves. Renowned for its durability it has also been proven as the fastest press on the market, with a cycle time of 12-16 seconds in high yielding wools when pressing bales up to 200kg.


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