27 April 2015 | Online since 2003



Fastracs come to aid of flood hit farmers


The Environment Agency is spearheading massive flood relief efforts in the Somerset Levels with the help of a fleet of six JCB machines. Two of the British manufacturer’s iconic backhoe loaders, along with four Fastrac high-speed tractors with trailers, have been on loan to the Environment Agency since early in February, helping with the clear-up work.

The Fastrac tractors are being operated from the Environment Agency’s Bradney Depot near Glastonbury. Driven by the EA’s skilled operators, the machines have being used to haul additional pumping equipment, to ferry personnel and to move large quantities of stone to otherwise inaccessible areas as part of the relief effort.

Their speed, off-road capabilities and capacity to safely pull heavy loads has made the Fastracs an essential component of the clear-up project.

“We simply can’t get articulated lorries into these remote places,” said Environment Agency Flood Risk Control Officer Andrew Pearce. “It wouldn’t be possible to access some of these locations without the JCB machines.”

The 4CX backhoe loaders are primarily being used to load the stone for transport to the flooded areas at present. However Mr Pearce says that once the flood waters have receded, the machines will be put to work removing temporary structures and helping to clear up in the many villages hit by the waters.

“The levels are dropping now and we’ve got a good strategy in place going forwards,” he said. “The work is more about clean-up at present, we are able to pump more water now to protect properties.”

The machines have provided vital support to the Environment Agency’s relief efforts, delivering exceptional all-weather, all-terrain capabilities to assist in delivering rapid assistance where it is needed, to help farmers and villagers within the flood-hit areas.

“The machines have been invaluable. You’ll have a hard time getting them back of us now,” said Mr Pearce.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford added: “The scale of the floods was devastating for all concerned. I am delighted that as Britain’s biggest equipment manufacturer we were able to rapidly provide some useful assistance to the Environment Agency, and to the many families affected by the terrible flooding in the Somerset levels.”

JCB has a history of assisting countries affected by major natural disasters and was quick to come to the aid of UK farmers and villagers in the area. A JCB 541-70 Loadall telescopic handler was already being used to help farmers to feed livestock, when the additional fleet of machines was despatched from JCB’s World Headquarters site in Staffordshire.

A 541-70 Loadall and Fastrac 2170 were also deployed in early February to assist the Forage Aid Scheme, spearheaded by farmer Andrew Ward, operating from Sedgemoor Livestock Auction near Bridgewater. As a direct response to a plea from the Forage Aid team, due to an unprecedented response from farmers all over the country donating feed and bedding, JCB dispatched two additional 531-70 Loadalls to help, bringing the fleet to 4 machines.

Download




Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


9 April 2015
Countryside Maintenance Assistant - Parks and Countryside
Sandwell Park Farm, Sandwell Valley Country Park, Salters Lane, West Bromwich B71 4BG. Fixed term until 7 September 2015 to c...

13 April 2015
Assured Food Standards : Chair - Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
Chair, Chairperson, Committee member, Food Chain, Farm Assurance Scheme. Assured Food Standards - Chair....

16 April 2015
General Farm Person/ Tractor Driver
Duties will include all aspects of Farm duties on a busy arable farm. Our client requires a general farm person with knowledg...

13 April 2015
Assistant Underwriter - Renewable Energy
The renewable energy portfolio includes offshore and onshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants, bio fuel plants and hydro-gener...

14 April 2015
mAgri Content Spcialist
Advanced degree in agriculture science, agribusiness, agriculture economics, or an equivalent related field. The specialist w...



Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...