Module Identifier RD15210  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Mr Simon Hulse  
Semester Semester 1  
Assessment Exam   1.5 Hours   50%  
  Assignment   Tractor Evaluation assignment   35%  
  Practical exercise   Practical Test   15%  

Module description
Mechanisation plays a very significant part in the operation of modern farm enterprises. It is an aspect which integrates both livestock and arable production. The agricultural tractor is the prime mover for most mechanised operations, its selection and operation, with respect to safety considerations, are of paramount importance. Aspects of tractor/implement operations are reinforced in the mechanisation modules.

Outcome 1
Select an appropriate agricultural tractor for a specified range of applications
Performance criteria:
a) Tractor sub-systems are identified.
b) The strengths and weaknesses of sub-system features are identified.
c) The suitability of sub-system features are related to tractor/implement operations.
d) Prescribed methods are used to calculate annual/hourly running costs.
Engine - Transmission - Hydraulics - Hitches - Cab - Controls.
Tractor fixed/variable costs - Annual usage - Expected life.

Outcome 2
To provide the management skills required for safe and efficient tractor operations.
Performance criteria:
a) Methods for improving tractive performance are identified.
b) Causes and means of reducing tractor instability and control loss are identified.
c) The mechanical theories of force relationships are related to field performance.
d) Basic tractor/implement operations are performed.
Traction: Soil properties - Contact patch area/weight - Tyre type/condition.
Instability and control loss: Ground slope/surface - Heading angle - Preparation/field procedures - Tractor/implement characteristics.
Force relationships: Tractor/implement side forces - Weight transfer/addition.
Operations: Regular/routine maintenance - Implement repair (welding) - Tractor and trailed/mounted implements.