THERE have been six deaths on quad bikes on farms this year; and according to the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, there were 22 quad bike-related deaths in Australia last year alone.
Quad bikes are the biggest cause of death on Australian farms and over half of those are due to the bikes rolling over – crushing or asphyxiating the rider.
In an effort to improve on-farm safety, the Victorian Government has opened a $6 million rebate scheme for approved safety solutions.
Eligible farmers can apply for the rebate of either:
• $1200 for the purchase of an alternate vehicle such as a side-by-side vehicle (SSV) or a small utility vehicle (SUV). The alternate vehicle must be designed for use in agriculture and at point of sale have rollover protection and a fitted seatbelt. Sport vehicles and small commercial vehicles, such as utes, are excluded.
• Up to $600 for the purchase of up to two operator protection devices (OPD). The OPD must have been designed and manufactured in accordance with approved engineering standards and independently tested to be eligible for the rebate.
There are two OPD devices that meet the criteria and are eligible for the rebate; they are the Quadbar and the ATV Lifeguard.
The rebates are available for SSVs, SUVs and OPDs from October 1 for two years, or until the funds are exhausted – whichever occurs first.
Marriotts MPE’s John Jones said now is the time to consider upgrading from the farm bike or ATV to an SSV, like the Polaris Ranger.
“With 38 models with built-in rollover protection and other safety features available at Marriotts, and many of them on display, Marriotts MPE in Leongatha should be the first stop in your considerations,” John said.
“We are also happy to organise test drives.
“Now the government’s offering the $1200 rebate, see us to find out what vehicles are available.
“Marriotts is now also stocking rollover protection devices priced from $599.”
For more information on the rebate, see John and the team at Marriotts MPE Leongatha, or visit www.worksafe.vic.gov.au and follow the links, or www.bequadsafe.com.au.