Foundation course in Engineering
for Farmers, Horticulturists, Professional Gardeners.
- Lay the foundation to understand and work with tools and equipment
- Learn about engines, power tools and hand tools; what tool to use and how it works
- 100 hour course, personal tutoring from university trained, industry experienced practical experts
There are 8 lessons in this course:
1. Engine Operation
- History of Engines
- Measurements and mechanical principles
- Load, Force, Pressure, Atmospheric Pressure
- Gravity, Centre of Gravity, Specific Gravity
- Density, Volumetric Efficiency, Vacuum, Work, Power, Energy
- Bore, Piston Motion, Piston Displacement
- Compression Ratio
- Converting Imperial Measurements to Metric
- Understanding a Petrol Engine
- Engine Operating Cycle
- The Transmission System Stages in 4 Stroke Spark Ignition Engine Cycle
- Stages in 2 stroke spark ignition Engine Cycle
- Engine Efficiency
- Understanding Electricity
- Measuring Electricity; current, voltage, resistance, Ohm’s Law
- Electricity Supply; batteries, mains power, generators, solar cells
- Electricity and Engines
- Electric Motors
- What is Hydraulics
- Simple Hydraulic System
- Hydraulic Tappings
- System Valves
- 3 point linkage on tractors
- Measuring Pressure
- Pressure Head
- Friction Loss
- Calculating Friction Loss
- Calculating Discharge or Flow
- Water Hammer
- Submersible Pumps
- Measuring Water available to plants
- Irrigation Calculations
3. Machinery Components
- Parts of an Engine
- Lubrication System
- Cooling System
- Fuel System
- Ignition System
- Transmission System
- Examples of Mechanisation; potting machines, planters and drills, harvesters, graders, mowers
4. Hand Tools
- Lifting objects manually
- Scope of tools and equipment
- Hand Saws
- Spades and Shovels
- Aerating Equipment
5. Power Tools
- Types of tools
- Power Saws
- Hedge Trimmers
- Chain Saws
- Brush Cutters
- Rotary Hoes
- Tool Safety
- Tool Maintenance
- Choosing a tractor
- Choosing implements and attachments
- Mini Tractors
- Tractor Parts
- Tractor safety
- Tractor operation
- Tractor Engine Fault Finding
- Common operating faults
7. Equipment Maintenance
- Cleaning and Sharpening tools
- Secateurs and branch cutting tools
- Shovels and spades
- Saws and Chainsaws
- Rust protection
- Maintaining timber handles
- Plastic handles
- Maintenance Procedures and Schedules
- Training Equipment Operators
- Rules for Operators
- Engine Oil Additives
8. Specific Workplace Requirements
- Machinery Specifications
- Application for an Industry Sector
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Explain the operation of different types of motors, including petrol and electric engines.
- Explain the principles of hydraulics in relation to agricultural and horticultural use.
- Explain the operation of the main components of machinery commonly used in agriculture and horticulture including cooling, lubrication, fuel distribution, ignition and transmission systems.
- Explain the safe and effective operation of different hand tools commonly used in agriculture or horticulture.
- Determine the safe and appropriate operation of power tools in horticultural and agricultural situations.
- Explain the safe and appropriate operation of a tractor in horticultural and agricultural situations.
- Explain the maintenance procedures for different equipment commonly used in agriculture and horticulture, including hand tools, power tools and tractors.
- Determine appropriate equipment for minimum work requirements in an agricultural or horticultural workplace.
How Do Engines Not Overheat?
When an engine is operating it produces a significant amount of heat due to the burning process in the combustion chamber. To prevent damage to the engine it is necessary to keep the engine at a correct temperature. Operating an engine at overly high temperatures causes structural damage to engine components, and overly cool operating temperatures mean the fuel will not vaporise properly. The two main methods for cooling engines are air cooling and water cooling.
Air cooling is mainly used in small engines (single cylinder) or for machinery like potato harvesters and elevators. A blast of air is directed on the cylinder and cylinder head, both of which are finned (see diagram below). These fins increase the surface area of the cylinder and provide a larger surface area through which the heat can spread. Air cooled systems are simple and reliable, but are less efficient than water cooled systems as air has a lower heat capacity, so more air is needed to produce the same effect as water. Over-heating can occur if the fins become blocked with dirt, as this reduces the surface area to be cooled.
Water cooling is more effective for use in multi-cylinder engines. The engine cylinders are completely surrounded with a water jacket. The water extends to the cylinder head where there is an outlet to the radiator. There is another outlet at the bottom of the radiator connecting back to the water jacket surrounding the cylinders. Water flows around this system. The radiator is composed of a head tank and a bottom tank. Between these there are a lot of thin tubes and metal plates that greatly increase the surface area to be cooled. This is the core of the radiator. Behind the radiator core there is a fan that operates via a pulley system connected to the crank shaft of the engine. This fan blows cool air onto the radiator. The cooled air circulates back through the engine.
WHO IS THIS COURSE GOING TO BENEFIT?
Anyone who works with machinery on farms, in gardens, or in construction can benefit from this course. You will even find an application with your car, or any other mechanised equipment around the home.
Machines are such an integral part of our daily lives now that most people take them for granted; and even those who work with machines often don't really understand enough about the machines they work with. If you have not studied mechanical engineering before, this course can change the way you look at engines (both petrol and electric, and the machines they power.
When you understand machinery better, you can make better decisions about where and how you use them; and most importantly maintenance and safety issues associated with machinery.