Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment

Study machines and tools online – how they are built, what they do, servicing and applications in horticulture and agriculture. Study power tools & equipment, tractors, lawn mowers.

Course CodeBSC105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Improve Productivity and Efficiency through Better Use of Machinery and Equipment

Land management has been revolutionized over the past century through the development and application of a wide range of new machines and tools.

  • Farms, parks, gardens, wilderness parks, golf courses, sports fields and other properties  are managed better and with far fewer staff than in the past.
  • Learn how machines and tools work, what they can do and explore the ways in which they are applied in horticulture, agriculture, and other industries today.
  • Understand what makes an engine work.
  • Understand how machines and tools need to be maintained to keep them working properly.

Lesson Structure

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
    • Circuits
    • Measuring Electricity; current, voltage, resistance, Ohm’s Law
    • Power
    • Electricity Supply; batteries, mains power, generators, solar cells
    • Electricity and Engines
    • Electric Motors
  2. Hydraulics
    • What is Hydraulics
    • Simple Hydraulic System
    • Pumps
    • Tractors
    • Hydraulic Tappings
    • System Valves
    • 3 point linkage on tractors
    • Pressure
    • Measuring Pressure
    • Pressure Head
    • Friction Loss
    • Calculating Friction Loss
    • Calculating Discharge or Flow
    • Velocity
    • Water Hammer
    • Submersible Pumps
    • Irrigation
    • 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
    • Secateurs
    • Hand Saws
    • Rakes
    • Spades and Shovels
    • Forks
    • Aerating Equipment
    • Rollers
    • Hoes
    • Wheelbarrows
    • Sprayers
  5. Power Tools
    • Types of tools
    • Drills
    • Grinders
    • Power Saws
    • Compressors
    • Hedge Trimmers
    • Chain Saws
    • Brush Cutters
    • Mowers
    • Mulchers
    • Rotary Hoes
    • Tool Safety
    • Tool Maintenance
  6. Tractors
    • Choosing a tractor
    • Choosing implements and attachments
    • Mini Tractors
    • Tractor Parts
    • Clutch
    • Transmission
    • 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
    • Storage
    • 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.

Good Tools and Machines allow us to do Work Easier, more Efficiently, Faster, and often Better.

This course focuses on the tools and machines that are used in horticulture, gardening and farming.

Learn to understand movement, mechanics and materials; and you will have an all important foundation for using tools and machinery.

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). Machinery can be broken down into individual components as a way of better understanding the machine and its operation.; for example:\

The operating principles of an internal‑combustion engine were studied earlier. An engine cannot function continuously though without additional systems. These systems commonly include:

  • The Lubrication System
  • The Cooling System
  • The Fuel System
  • The Ignition System
  • The Transmission System.

Why Study This?

Everyone uses machines and tools today. When you understand how a machine works you will be better placed to fix problems when they occur, and treat your equipment in a way that avoids those problems ever happening.
For a gardener or farmer; this can help you to minimize costly delays in your work program. Even someone who doesn't even work on the land can save a lot of time and money if they understand the basics of tool and machine maintenance and operation. When you understand differences between different lawn mowers, knives, spades, or any other equipment; you will be able to make better decisions about what to buy, how to use equipment, and how to keep it in good condition.
Who May Benefit from this Course?
  • Farmers, Landscapers, Gardeners, Land Managers
  • Machinery or Tool Suppliers/ Sales Staff
  • Handymen (amateur or tradesmen)
  • Students of agriculture, horticulture, or environmental management
  • Businessmen, Entrepreneurs and Inventors with an interest in mechanics, materials technology
  • Anyone else with an interest or passion for the subject

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