Automate your gate…

or at the very least, PLEASE, when you stop your vehicle to get out and open your gate manually, put your hand brake on, put your vehicle in gear (in an appropriate direction to counteract the slope of the terrain), and turn your engine off.  If your brakes are unreliable, have them repaired.  If your tractor needs a service to ensure it is safe, get it serviced.  Your safety is important.  You need to arrive home safely each and every night.

In a Safe Work Australia report spanning 8 years, there were 23 deaths on farms related to activities where workers/farm-owners/family members were getting down from their tractor to open a gate or move a hay bale and were then hit by the tractor.  Of these 23 deaths, all victims were 65 years old or over.

In this same report, a further 28 fatalities occurred to do with light vehicles (cars, utes and motorcycles)

‘Other incidents involved being crushed by the vehicle while undertaking repairs or while temporarily out of the vehicle, such as while opening a gate.’  (Safe Work Australia – click)

A quick search on the internet using your preferred search engine brings up a disturbing number of results.  One that this blog administrator found quite disturbing (probably due to the victim’s vivid detailed description), was this story from September, 2014.  The fact that Mr Sykes survived is extraordinary.  It makes for a compelling read.

Caraban farmer Barry Sykes

Unfortunately, my right foot got caught in the wire gate so when the tractor rolled, it dragged me underneath,” Mr Sykes said.

Other farm deaths are mentioned in the report, to do with Quad-bike accidents.  These appear to have very little to do with gateways and more to do with the type of terrain being traversed.  Please be careful out there!  You are important.

At SUN-POWER Auto Gates, we applaud the efforts and focus of farmers that are making safety a high priority on their property.  Farming is not typically a ‘career path’, it is an entire way of life.  To include Safety as a high priority in this particular vocation is admirable as safety is a mix of common-sense low-cost measures as well as significant higher-cost infrastructure upgrades.  Farmers are doing life tough at the moment.  We all know that.  We hear it on the news regularly.  Amidst tough economic circumstances, we find ourselves so impressed by farmers who are ensuring the safety of themselves, their families and their workers (who also have families they wish to return to safely each evening).

We found the video below shared on  It’s a good introduction and guide to a new attitude within the industry.  Fatalities have decreased on farms over the last 10 years.  This is great and we look forward to seeing even more improvements over the next ten years.

This video was Posted on YouTube quite recently (28-05-2015).  In the video description, it reads:

The injury rate is now close to zero at ‘Raby Stud’, near Warren in New South Wales, thanks to the attitude that ‘it won’t happen to me’ is simply not good enough to ensure everyone gets home safely to their families every night.

Well done Raby Stud!

We at SUN-POWER Auto Gates firmly believe that having an automated gate that is activated by remote control from a vehicle (be it tractor, car, ute or quad-bike) will increase overall safety at your farm property.  Think about the steps you currently take to open your gate, travel through it with your vehicle and then close it again.  Number all the things you have to do to get through that gate safely (which should include leaving the vehicle turned off and in gear when getting out/down from your vehicle to open the gate – or click here for our best guess as to what is involved).  Now think about the alternative:

  1. Approach gate in vehicle (tractor, ute, car, quad etc)
  2. Press button on remote control
  3. Drive through the gateway. Gate auto-closes behind you.

By contrast to a properly-functioning auto-gate, is your current procedure safe?  Is your current procedure best practice?

We genuinely believe that a remote-controlled automated gate operator could save you from unnecessary risk.  Spot the risk.  Eliminate the risk.

To shop for an Australian-Made Solar Swing Gate Operator in DIY kit form today, click here now.

To read more on what comes in our DIY Gate Kits, incorporating the Australian-Made XP-R Gate Operators, click here to read a recent blog post with high-resolution photographs of the equipment that will come in your kit.