Engineering I - Machinery and Equipment

Study horticultural and agricultural engineering to learn about machines, pumps, hydraulics, tools and equipment. Useful for efficient work on a farm, or in nursery or garden setting.

Course Code: BSC105
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Effective Farming Depends upon Making Effective Choices with Machinery and Tools

 
Develop an ability to manage the selection, operation and maintenance of tools and machinery, with particular reference to agriculture and horticulture.
 
Learn about the use and operation of tools, equipment and machines.
 
Machines are powered by engines.
Engines can need a variety of systems to support their operation, including: Cooling systems to stop the engine from overheating; lubrication Systems to prevent wear and tear on moving parts (reduce friction between parts and allow movement with less energy loss); ignition systems provide a spark of electricity to ignite petrol; and transmission systems transmit power/movement from the point of production to the point of use (e.g. Wheels of a tractor).

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Engine Operation
  2. Hydraulics
  3. Machinery Components
  4. Hand Tools
  5. Power Tools
  6. Tractors
  7. Equipment Maintenance
  8. Specific Workplace Requirements

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.

Aims

  • To explain the operation of different types of motors, including petrol and electric engines.
  • To explain the principles of hydraulics in relation to agricultural and horticultural use.
  • To explain the operation of the main components of machinery commonly used in agriculture and horticulture including cooling, lubrication, fuel distribution, ignition and transmission systems.
  • To explain the safe and effective operation of different hand tools commonly used in agriculture or horticulture.
  • To determine the safe and appropriate operation of power tools in horticultural and agricultural situations.
  • To 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.
  • To determine appropriate equipment for minimum work requirements in an agricultural or horticultural workplace.
  • An introductory subject which aims to develop an ability to manage the selection, operation and maintenance of tools and machinery - with particular reference to agriculture and horticulture.
  • Learn the use and operation of tools, equipment and machines.

Learn to Understand Engines

Engines are used all the time on farms (and in other agricultural and horticultural enterprises.
They will usually be driven by either a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engines. Both engines are different types of internal combustion engines. Each of these two types of engines has certain advantages and disadvantages.

They both run by a series of controlled explosions occurring in an “internal” (enclosed) chamber or cylinder. The size of the equipment to be powered will dictate whether you use a two stroke or four stoke engine. Equipment size will also dictate how many cylinders are required. Two stroke petrol engines are used to power smaller equipment like chain saws and small horticultural equipment. Four stoke engines are used for larger equipment and may have one or more cylinders depending the power required.

When an explosion occurs it causes movement in parts of the engine. That movement is translated to a shaft which is caused to turn. As the shaft turns (rotates) it is able to cause something else to turn that does certain work (e.g. turning the wheels of a tractor, the blades of a mower or the parts of a hydraulic pump). 

The four stroke engine has one power stroke in every four stokes, and the two stroke has one power stroke in every two strokes. This is explained in more detail later in this lesson. A four stroke is obviously more powerful, but also more expensive and more complex. In a two stroke engine, the intake, exhaust, power and compression strokes of the engine occur in one rotation of the crankshaft. 

With a four stroke engine there is more time between this series of events with the crankshaft making two complete rotations for the four stages of one stroke to happen. Two-stroke engines have the advantage over 4-stroke engines by being lighter. They can be used at angles and upside down as there is no oil in the crankcase. A two stroke is however less efficient than 4-stroke engines and requires lubricating oil to be mixed in with the fuel and tends to run less evenly. Two stroke engines usually run at higher speeds than four stroke engines. Four stroke engines have intake and exhaust valves, two stroke engines have intake and exhaust ports.


HOW AN ENGINE WORKS

The Operating Cycle

In any internal combustion engine there are a number of essential parts there are arranged so that a basic series of events occur. This series of events is usually known as the operating cycle.

The internal combustion engine is a form of heat engine. Heat energy, produced by burning fuel within the engine, is changed into mechanical energy. Different types of fuel include petrol, vaporising oil (V.O) or diesel.  While different types of fuel are used in different types of equipment, this does not alter the basic operating cycle.

The essential parts of an engine are:

1. The cylinder – fuel is introduced into the cylinder for burning
2. The piston – this moves up and down within the cylinder
3. The cylinder head – this seals off the top of the cylinder
4. The crankshaft – this rotates
5. The connecting rod – connects the piston to the crankshaft
6. The inlet valve – allows entry of fuel into the cylinder
7. the exhaust valve – allows the exit of gases
8. A camshaft – this opens the valves
9. Valve springs – these close the valves
10. The flywheel – this is fitted to the crankshaft to help it rotate

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?

When you understand engines and the machines they drive; your capacity to use, maintain and even repair that equipment will increase.

Some will undertake this course to fill in what they recognise as a deficiency in their skills set; while others are seeking to build on a very basic understanding which is simply not sufficient for the day to day work  in a job they already have or one they hope to get.

Completing this course will increase your knowledge and understanding of machinery and equipment, and enable you to see ways of more efficiently undertaking work on a farm or in the management of other landscapes (natural or man made).

 

ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

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You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

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We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Leading horticultural expert in Australia.
Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt.

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Kara Wight

BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging)

Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels.

Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events.

Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

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