Farming is a fine art, where a range of techniques and equipment can help to streamline this important industry. We all rely on the dedicated hard work of the UK farming community to put food on the table and sustain a wide range of dependent sectors. In a country where approximately 71% of land is taken up by agriculture, farming is an essential part of our economy and our national identity.
As such, it is important that farming remains at the forefront of modern technology and innovation, where processes can always be improved to help manage costs and environmental impacts. Winch hire is one way that farming initiatives can be simplified, where versatile pieces of lifting equipment can be used to revolutionise everyday agricultural tasks.
Read on for a detailed insight into how winches can improve your daily farming operations, with an overview of the vital services on offer from Atlas Winch Hire.
A winch is a versatile piece of hauling or lifting equipment, where this can be used for a wide variety of projects and tasks. Typically, a winch consists of a rope, cable or chain which winds around a rotating drum. This drum is turned by a motor or a hand-operated crank. Also known as a spool, this rotating part allows the cable to be drawn in and out, creating an effective lifting mechanism. The winch cable usually has a hook on one end, meaning it can be attached to different vehicles and machines in order to execute a range of applications.
Winches and hoists are commonly confused, where both are types of lifting equipment. A winch is typically used to pull heavy loads horizontally across a level or slightly inclined surface. In contrast, a hoist is designed to lift loads of various sizes vertically, where these can be suspended or lowered as required.
Farming is so much more than the planting of seeds and the harvesting of crops. The heavy infrastructure and large scale land coverage involved requires purposeful lifting equipment, where winches and hoists can be invaluable.
The average farmer will deal regularly with adverse weather conditions, making it difficult to manoeuvre heavy loads and to manage harvested crops. Further challenges include ever-increasing costs, where efficient equipment management is necessary to safeguard profits and keep farms up and running.
Winches and hoists can help to revolutionise the farming experience by making everyday tasks easier. One of the most common ways that winches are used on the farm is by attaching the hauling device to a rough-terrain vehicle. This can create a tractor winch, where the vehicle can be used alongside the winch cable to haul, lift and manoeuvre various items around the farm.
Some of the top farming and agricultural uses for this kind of lifting equipment include:
One of the most common uses of a winch, both on and off the farm, is to help extract vehicles from tricky situations. Often tractors, trucks or vans will be driven through unstable or waterlogged ground, where their tyres can become stuck. Additionally, vehicles can tip into ditches and trenches, where it quickly becomes difficult to resolve the situation. A winch attached to a heavy duty vehicle can be hooked onto the motor in question and pull it to safety without causing excessive damage.
Often, landscaping on a large scale involves the relocation of lots of heavy objects and plant material. If a farmer needs to make room for new planting or livestock, then the area may have to be reorganised. This kind of landscaping and heavy lifting may also be required for seasonal crop rotations, or for relocating chicken or cattle sheds. A tractor winch can be used to move large structures, as well as bushes and small trees. The combination of a winch and a tow strap can help to manoeuvre various objects across the site to make the next stage of farming possible.
Sometimes farming overlaps with forestry, where private land may consist of woodland areas as well as open fields for planting. As such, these spaces also need to be maintained and managed, which can necessitate the use of lifting equipment. For these tasks, a forestry winch can be useful, where these are used to pull logs along the ground using wire ropes or cables. Logs typically have to be relocated so that they can be collected and processed properly. This can be a further source of income for farms that include woodland areas. A forestry winch usually works best for the transportation of long and heavy timber, where shorter pieces are likely to splinter or get lost during the hauling process.
In addition to various land management jobs that are typically associated with farming, the occupation also requires some level of construction expertise. This is because land borders and fences must be properly maintained, whilst crops and livestock have to be properly enclosed in secure and weatherproof structures. As such, hauling equipment can be used for the stretching of cable or fence wires, where these can be made appropriately taught with proper usage of a tractor winch. Winches can also come in handy for the raising of structural poles, or the demolition of outdated infrastructure.
In recent years, there has been a resounding push for farming to become more sustainable. Some of the key ways these changes have been implemented include the rotation of crops and livestock. This helps to naturally fertilise the soil and reduce the damage caused by monoculture farming practices. Natural wildflower planting can also help to break up areas of low biodiversity, whilst a reduction in tillage can help to manage risks of flooding and soil erosion. When it comes to machinery, electric or hybrid motors can help to reduce the carbon emissions produced on the farm. Buying and selling local produce can also work to limit road pollution and cap overall costs.
When it comes to winches and hoists, the power source in question can dictate how environmentally friendly the equipment is. Petrol and diesel winches have traditionally been the most popular choice, but a recent move towards electric and battery powered models has helped to reduce emissions. Hydraulic fuels are also designed to produce lower levels of carbon emissions than traditional fuel sources, helping farmers to achieve their sustainability goals.
It can be difficult to know whether it is best to hire or buy a winch outright for your farming applications. Although buying a winch outright gives you permanent access to your lifting equipment, there are several advantages of choosing a hire package instead, where these include:
Lower overall costs – hiring means that you don’t need to pay a large upfront sum for your winch or hoist, saving you money on short-term projects.
Reduced maintenance fees – the hiring company is likely to handle all equipment maintenance on your behalf, saving you money in the long run.
No storage concerns – when hiring a winch, you don’t have to worry about where you will store the equipment as the winch company will take care of this for you.
Increased flexibility – hiring allows you to try out different winch models over time before you commit to purchasing just one.
Improved safety – hiring companies will carry out regular safety checks and servicings on their equipment to ensure your peace of mind.
Training & instructions – when hiring a piece of lifting equipment, you may be able to access introductory training from the winch company to ensure you’re working safely.
At Atlas Winch Hire & Hoist Services, we can provide you with a wide range of winch hire and purchasing options to suit your needs, whether you need a winch for everyday farming tasks, construction or nautical purposes.
Choose from our comprehensive product range, which includes electric winch options as well as hydraulic power units and mooring equipment. Our team can also provide you with a selection of essential winch care services, including regular maintenance and repairs. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.