Is the Enclosed Cabin on Your Farm Tractor Making You Sick?

Tractor cabs are notoriously dusty environments. Fresh air is drawn into the HVAC system from behind the tractor, bringing in air is filled with airborne dirt, fertilizer, pesticides, and allergens. The fresh air filter is quickly overwhelmed.

It is common practice to take the filter out and blow compressed air through it to remove the dirt. This process of blowing compressed air through the filter enlarges the micron-sized holes in the pleated filter material, making the filter less effective with every blow-out. Too much air can lead to tears in the filter material. Particles, seeking the path of least resistance, pass easily through the enlarged pores and tears in the filter, so more and more debris is continuing into the HVAC system.

Top of cab with roof removed to show HVAC system
Top of cab with roof removed for cleaning and installation

Once past this first and only line of defense, debris passes on through the evaporator coil. Many of the particles clog onto the wet evaporator coil, and even more particles are blown down the air vents into the face of the operator.

Contaminants caught in the airflow may include:

  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Manure
  • Chaff
  • Silica

Circulation patterns in the cab place the operator in a continuous stream of these airborne contaminants as the air moves from fresh air vents in front of the operator’s head into minimal foam recirculation filters behind the head. Congestion, headaches, bronchial irritation, and eventual infection can be the result of hours in this environment, leading to lost time and/or wages.

Recirculation airflow patterns, the lack of adequate filtration, and the age-old habit of blowing out filters produce significant health challenges in the farming community. For the first time, there is an economical, off-the-shelf product that not only combats airborne contaminants, but will also extend air filter life and keep your HVAC coils clean.

Sy-Klone’s RESPA® Cab and Enclosure Air Quality Product, when correctly installed on a properly sealed enclosed cab, can significantly reduce the operator’s exposure to airborne contaminants. The RESPA-CF2’s powered precleaner ejects contaminants and debris back into the environment, then passes the precleaned air stream through a high capacity or high-efficiency filter. Only high-quality clean air is entering the HVAC system.

While Sy-Klone makes no health claims resulting from the use of this product, if it is installed correctly and used in conjunction with a properly sealed cab and operator best practices, it may significantly reduce the operator’s exposure to airborne contaminants. If you have constant respiratory problems from working in your tractor cab, the lost wages/lost time may quickly offset the cost of  RESPA® Cab and Enclosure Air Quality Product!

Here are some details from an actual installation:

A RESPA® product was installed on a Case 7250 tractor, used on a farm in Middle Georgia.
Case 7250 Tractor with Respa-SD installed

The air intake is located at the rear of the cab roof, behind the operator’s head. It sucks in airborne chaff, pesticides, and fertilizer stirred up behind the tractor. The filter was blown out after every three hours of operation. Each blow-out enlarges the pores of the filter, making it less and less effective.
Air Intake is at rear of cab, where it pulls in debris, pesticides, manure stirred up behind tractor

The operator’s head is in a continuous stream of contaminant-laden air as it moves from the front vents to the recirc filter behind his head.
Dirt laden air is blown in opertor's face then is pulled into the recirc filters to be combined with more dirt

The precleaned, filtered air passes from the RESPA® product into the fresh air plenum (low-pressure side) of the HVAC system. The original air intake has been sealed with a piece of sheet metal and gasket sealant.
Completed RESPA-SD installation closeup

 

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