O'Connors fight fire with Muster II system

Header fire suppression with the Muster II system by O'Connors


Machinery
Aa

Header fire suppression with the Muster II system by O'Connors

Aa
The Muster II fire prevention system has been adapted by O'Connors to fit to a range of headers.

The Muster II fire prevention system has been adapted by O'Connors to fit to a range of headers.

Header fires cost growers time and money, as well as putting neighbouring crops and infrastructure at risk. 

While preventing fires in the first place is the best case scenario, a system originally developed for mining machinery has been developed by O'Connors to help further monitor and protect headers. 

O'Connors, branch manager Horsham, Zach Holmes said the Muster II fire suppression system was originally developed to protect mining equipment. 

The O'Connors Muster II Fire suppression system

The O'Connors Muster II Fire suppression system

"There was a lot of interest a couple of years ago after some big years of fires, we were already working with JSG Industrial systems on other products they supply and they had the Muster II fire suppression system," Mr Homes said. 

"The system was a proven product and had been available for a long time, we just had to develop it for agriculture."

Mr Holmes said O'Connors had undertaken significant work to develop a Muster II kit specific for headers, carrying out risk assessments to identify the biggest problem areas. 

"The system works by running a sense wire, or burn wire, through those areas," he said. 

"If a fire does start it will burn through the sense wire which then automatically sets off the suppression system, that gives you a warning in the cab on an alarm panel and gives you 36 seconds to get the machine to some sort of safer ground, then it will automatically shut the machine down and the system continues to offer suppression for a further two minutes. 

"The suppression system uses is about 90 litres of water with a foam additive.

"We have nineteen nozzles strategically placed around the machine which cover the engine, all the main hydraulics and left hand side batteries, above the rotor cage and your chopper bearings."

Mr Holmes said while the system gave peace of mind and suppression when things went wrong, the best protection was fire prevention, through good maintenance and regular clean-downs. 

PULSE RISK: Grain Research Development Corporation, manager chemical regulations, Gordon Cumming with Pulse Australia, northern region industry development manager, Paul McIntosh. Photo: David Martinelli.

PULSE RISK: Grain Research Development Corporation, manager chemical regulations, Gordon Cumming with Pulse Australia, northern region industry development manager, Paul McIntosh. Photo: David Martinelli.

Grain Research Development Corporation, manager chemical regulations, and former Pulse Australia, national manager, Gordon Cumming agreed prevention was better than cure, particularly in high risk situations such as chickpea crops where fire can be a major hazard as the dust has a relatively low flash point. 

"The problem is most prevalent where there has been no rain in the four to six weeks leading up to harvest," he said. 

Mr Cumming said farmers could minimise risk by cleaning down header regularly throughout the day, continuously monitoring their equipment and ensuring fire extinguishers and water were at hand. 

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by