The best two-way radios for farming and agriculture.How can you increase efficiency and safety on your farm? In this blog, we discuss how the utilization of two-way radios can greatly assist operations on your farm, and we answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions we're asked by farm-workers and contractors.
Upgrading your communications system to digital technology allows instant group chats, encryption to avoid eavesdropping, increased range, improved audio quality, keep up staff morale with better communication during long work days (especially at harvest time), make clear voice calls with background noise reduction, make use of a panic button and 'lone worker/man down' functionality which can be programmed to send an alert to supervisors' radios in the event of an emergency.
The Health and Safety Executive guidance INDG173 Working Alone defines lone workers as those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. Many farms, through choice or by necessity, do not employ staff and farmers have no choice but to work alone. However even on farms where there is a relatively large team employed, there are times when farm workers are required to carry out tasks alone and often remotely.
It is not against the law to work alone or to ask a member of staff to work alone. However, the law requires employers to consider and address any health and safety risks and put reasonable measures into place to ensure tasks can be carried out safely. If you are responsible for a farm business, you are responsible for the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees and/or family members, including contractors and self-employed people undertaking work for you. You must consider and address any health and safety risks and put the necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of your workers.
For private, efficient communication over wide-ranging countryside terrain, where mobile phone signals can be patchy at best, land-management teams are turning more and more to two-way radios. We have hand-picked a selection of radios that we think are most suitable for farm-workers:
Do I need an Ofcom Licence?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that farmers ask us about using two-way radios. Two-way radios do require a licence, unless you are using licence-free (PMR446) walkie talkies, however, we would not recommend these for effective and private communication on a site as large as a farm. A basic radio licence costs £75 for five years use, and this covers all of your radios plus any new radios you might add. More info about radio licensing here.
What range can I expect?
Range is dependent on the terrain you are using the two-way radios in. A quick conversation with us can point you to a solution that is best suited to the size of your particular farm. A basic 'radio-to-radio' set-up will provide around 2 miles of coverage, and for most farms this should be satisfactory, but if need be, this range can be increased by installing a repeater/base station to take coverage out to around 10 miles.
The Radio Shop supplies a wide range of two-way radio equipment and accessories to the farming and agricultural industry. Let us recommend two-way radios that are right for your farm, and your budget. Contact a Radio Shop expert for more info.
Call: 01778 426777