Dan’s story: the importance of quad safety

// Health and Safety

Dan Brier, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s General Manager for Farming Excellence, was saved from serious injury or possibly death by a crush protection device (CPD) on a quad bike. He is now an advocate for CPDs. B+LNZ encourages farmers to make the most of ACC’s cash-back offer on the installation of these devices on their quad bikes. 

image of dan brier

Dan’s accident happened on his family farm in the King Country about 10 years ago. “It had been a long day. I was putting sheep away after shearing, evening was falling, I was tired, it was raining. I took the bike along a track that needed maintenance. So lots of things were lining up to go wrong,” he recalls. The quad started to roll and as hefelt it going, Dan leaned the other way. But his toes got caught up. 

“In that split second it was all sort of slow-motion stuff. The bike was coming over on top of me and I was thinking this is going to break my legs because of the way I’d fallen across the track. I remember thinking no-one knows where I am it’s dark and my wife is home with four little kids so she’s not in a position to come out looking for me.  All those things rushed through my mind.”

Only he wasn’t crushed.  The quad bike Dan was riding  had been purchased with a roll bar installed. Unsurprisingly Dan has become a convert to CPDs – in fact any sort of engineering for safety. “Let’s face it, we’re humans and we all make mistakes. We’ll drive too fast, we soldier on when we’re tired, we get careless when pressures build up. Whenever we can come up with ways to help people be safer, or more productive or whatever, without a human having to make a conscious decision about it, then I’m all for it,” he says. 

While Dan acknowledges that cost and the perclusion of some spray units may be seen as reasons not to install CPD, he points out that the trade-offs and inconveniences pale in comparison to the potential for permanent disability or death if a quad without a CPD rolls. “We all think that catastrophic events won’t happen to us.  But unfortunately, as around half a dozen people a year on farm find out, it does.”

A CPD creates a gap when it rolls over and meets the ground, taking the impact of the quad bike and keeping it off the operator lying underneath it. This increases the chance of a positive outcome for the operator in the event the quad bike rolls over.

Safer Farms and ACC have recently launched a nationwide campaign encouraging farmers to invest in CPDs using the cash back offer currently available through ACC.  The cash back offer allows farmers to receive $180 (plus GST) cash back on up to two devices, including the Quadbar, Quadbar Flexi, and ATV Lifeguard CPDs. 

Safer Farms Chair Lindy Nelson firmly supports the initiative and believes  every farmer in the country will know someone or have been in a serious accident involving a quad bike. 

“This cash back offer is a great incentive to increase our protection.”

To learn more, or apply for the ACC cash back go to acc.co.nz/cpdcashback