A Presser is employed as part of the shearing team to bale wool and help with other tasks around the shearing shed. The position may involve camp-out and/or travel jobs.
Reports to: The Presser reports to the Head Woolhandler and Team Leader while in the shed. When on a camp-out, the Presser reports to the Team Leader after work hours.
The Presser must work to the direction of the Head Woolhandler. Any grievances about the Head Woolhandler should be taken to the Team Leader. Any grievances about the Team Leader should be taken to the Operations Manager.
When not out at a job, the Presser reports directly to the Operations Manager.
Staff Reporting to Presser: The Presser may have other pressers reporting to them
Conditions of Employment
Wool Pressing Standards
Cleaning and Tiding Quarters
1. Wool Pressing Standards
Press the wool according to the MSL Wool Pressing Standards (given below). The Head Woolhandler will advise the presser if the client requires any changes from these standards.
The Head Woolhandler is responsible for the presentation of the wool clip. Your work must be up to his/her standard, or else you may be asked to re-press bales.
A clip hook must be used for clipping bales.
Each bale should be numbered before it is taken from the press. The bale is branded and the client’s Bale Book filled out immediately.
Each line of wool should be finished with a full bale. Be aware of where the wool changes are in the shed. Never mix lines of wool in a bale.
Where there is more than one presser in the team, bales are stacked up to two high. If there is only one presser, then stand bales up. If there is no more room to store bales, ask the Team Leader to approach the client to either get bales removed or stackedThe presser needs to master the safe and efficient operation of whatever type of press is encountered. If you are not sure how a particular press works, then you need to find out from the Team Leader or client at the start of the job. The presser needs to maintain the press and follow the Wool Press Operating Rules (given below).
Wool Press Operating Rules
When using the top box handle, you must be holding the ratchet brake on a crankdown
Always use the guards provided on the press
With a crackdown press, never leave the crank handle locked
With a hydraulic press, both pins must be used on the top box
With a lift-and-swing press, make sure the cap is pushed well down, and there are no low beams that might knock the cap off
With electric presses, check the power cables daily for damage etc.
2. Shed Management
Catching and back-up pens are to be filled before the start of every run. During a run, fill pens when a shearer calls “sheepo”. Fill pens as quickly as possible then return to wool pressing.
Be aware of any mob changes, wool changes and cut outs in the shed.
Maintain a tidy work area and avoid contamination. Work with the other pressers and woolhandlers to tidy the shed well at the end of each run, and at the end of the job. The press should always be left empty at the end of the job.
Teach correct wool pressing techniques to any learner pressers who may be working with you.
Ask the Head Woolhandler before leaving the shed during work hours.
The Team Leader and Head Woolhandler may together decide to stand the presser down where the presser/shearer ratio is too high. This may happen when shearing rams, if a shearer is injured, if a shearing plant breaks down, or if there is a change from shearing ewes to lambs.
On camp-out jobs, when asked by the Head Woolhandler, collect the morning and afternoon teas from the quarters, at times arranged with the cook.
On travel jobs, pack the food box containing the day’s meals into the vehicle. The box will be ready in the Travel Team Chiller. On arrival at the shed, unload the box and leave in the shed kitchen. At the end of the day, load the box from the shed into the vehicle. Once back at the MSL Base, unload the box and leave in the pantry.
Before morning and afternoon tea (and lunch on travel jobs), the presser should boil the zip, unpack and (if necessary) heat up the food.
4. Learner Shearers
If you are learning to shear then you should have your shearing gear with you at all times. When you get the opportunity to shear, you must work according to the MSL Job Description for a shearer. When instructed by the Team Leader, you should stop shearing and resume presser duties.
5. Cleaning and Tidying Quarters
On a camp-out, help load and unload vans and trailers. Clean the quarters as requested by the Team Leader. Work with the rest of the shearing team to tidy the quarters at the end of the job.
Health and Safety
Know where the shed’s Main Power Switch is. The Head Woolhandler will advise you of its location at the start of the job. Turn off the power if a shearer’s gear locks up or if there is a problem with the wool press.
Know how to operate shearing plant cords. The cord needs to be turned off if the shearer gets into difficulty, in order to prevent injury.
Notify the Team Leader of any accidents or injuries sustained during work hours. Suitable enclosed footwear must be worn at all times.
MSL Wool Pressing Standards
Bales are pressed to the following MSL Wool Pressing Standards:
Bale weights between 180 and 200 kgs, where possible
Bales pressed and clipped tidily. Bale corners tucked in and no wool sticking out
Branding to be neat, tidy and readable. Where possible, branding should be written in the top left hand corner
Bales are left neatly with bale numbers and brands visible or easily accessed. Where there is more than one presser in the team, bales will be stacked up to two high.
Only newspaper or cardboard are used in bin bales (never plastic, synthetics or cloth as they will not break down when wool is scoured).
Lines of wool are always baled separately
Pressing of oddments is organised so as to avoid unnecessary mixed bin bales. Fleeces of fine wool lines are packed carefully for bin and reclass lines
Any bales not pressed to this standard will be re-pressed.
The classer’s stencil should be put on each bale if requested.