Two popular quad bike manufacturers have signalled they will pull out of Australia's market due to safety mandates, however farmers are advised there is no need to panic buy.
Quad bikes are the leading cause of death on farms in NSW, and following a number of horror fatal accidents, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded a consumer safety standard should be introduced applying to all new quad bikes.
The first phase of the new safety measures begin in October.
Although Honda and Yamaha are proposing to exit the market, NSW Farmers president James Jackson said a number of other quad bike manufacturers will continue to supply quad bikes in Australia.
"NSW Farmers wants to assure the farming community in NSW that quad bikes will continue on being available beyond October 2021," he said.
"We commend these manufacturers who are dedicated to advance their quad bike design for safety improvement and encourage them to publicly announce their position sooner rather than later.
"It is regrettable that brands like Honda and Yamaha have said they will stop offering quad bikes to the Australian market, limiting some farmers' access to their preferred brand, however supply will meet demand."
NSW Farmers Orange branch chairman Graham Brown has ridden quad bikes for decades and had one bad accident when he was semi-retired and was riding slowly while spraying weeds and ran over a log the size of a fat weekend newspaper.
He said the organisation has been actively involved in improving quad bike safety for more than 10 years and about half of quad bike deaths were a result of roll overs.
However, Mr Brown said the all terrain vehicles also play an important role on farms, performing some specific tasks, particularly on boggy ground, and he called for riders to understand their limitations and risks for continued use without legislative intervention.
He said some of the most important safety measures were to actively ride the vehicle as a person would on a horse or two-wheel motorbike rather than just sitting.
Mr Brown said quad owners must also not let anyone under 16 ride an adult-sized quad bike, and wear a helmet.
Mr Brown said the fitting of different roll bars could help minimise risks, particularly in reducing chest injuries but people would have to choose wisely for their operation.
He said occupational health and safety must also be considered.
Orchardist Guy Gaeta recently upgraded his quad bike and said he has ridden them without incident for more than 30 years.
"You've got to ride a quad bike like you are using a two-wheel motorbike," Mr Gaeta said.
He said similar side-by-side vehicles were supposed to be more stable but not everyone could afford them.
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