Farm mechanisation is a relatively new phenomenon for Indian farmers, and it is easy for them to get attracted to benefits like greater productivity and savings in manual labour.
What tends to get neglected is another important benefit, namely safety.
The importance of safety in power tillers
In India, most farmers are the major if not sole income earners of their families. A minor injury can mean a few days away from the fields. A major injury can translate into missing the season altogether. Either one of these occurrences can have serious financial implications on the farmer and his family.
Another factor is that in rural areas, healthcare facilities may not be within easy reach, and so help may not be readily available if required.
These factors make safety critical while choosing a power tiller or any other farm mechanisation tool.
Listed below are three important safety features that bring during use and in the long term.
A seat keeps the user’s feet oﬀ the ground and away from sharp stones, fallen branches and other hazardous material. This allows farmers to concentrate on the task at hand, without worrying about injuries, minor or major. This feature is especially relevant to rice farmers who can’t even see the rocks and water snakes in water logged fields while puddling.
An additional benefit of this feature is doubled productivity. Since users are not limited by the speed of walking, they can cover much more ground while tilling, ploughing, and puddling.
Balanced centre of gravity
Most power tillers are heaviest in the front section, which makes them topple forward as soon as the handlebars are released. This is dangerous as the spinning rotor suddenly comes close to the farmer’s body, and can entangle and damage loose clothing or limbs.
Ideally, a machine’s centre of gravity should be behind the wheel. Mega T from KMW has this design feature, along with a third wheel to keep the machine stable even if users let go of the handles.
Ergonomic design for long-term joint health
A traditional power tiller’s handles have to be pressed down during use. This causes discomfort to the user’s shoulders after continuous use. The weight of the machine also puts users at risk from chronic joint pain. Here again, farmers have reported that Mega T scores over other tillers, as it is designed for almost effortless use.
Don’t get swayed by mere productivity features. The greatest productivity booster is an injury-free farmer!