Reduce Silo Inspection Costs with Drones

5th January 2023
5 Star Review
120+ Years Experience Over 120 years' experience
People trained (25,000) - 25,000 trained in last 12 months 25,000 trained in last 12 months
Employed Trainers (100+) - Over 100 employed trainers Over 100 employed trainers
Nationwide (UK Wide Coverage) UK Wide Coverage

Time is money, a phrase coined Benjamin Franklin in 1748, is still true today – especially for farmers. In the current economic climate, anything that can be done to save time for farmers is positive – especially if it can also reduce costs and risk too.

Inspections are a critical element of keeping a farm running – but can be dangerous and costly to complete. In this article, we explain how drone inspections can be used in agricultural settings to reduce risk and costs.


Silo inspections

Silos are vast structures that can be difficult and expensive to inspect. Inspections of silos involve examining the inside and outside of the storage vessel to check for buckling or bulging, which is often followed up by a full interior inspection when a silo is empty and free of build-up.

Regular inspections are important to prevent costly repairs and ensure they are fully operational all year. They are also necessary to allow for maintenance or cleaning that is required before a crop storage rotation.

Traditionally, scaffolding or ropes are required to inspect a silo. This is not only time consuming but can be expensive. One way of reducing the cost of silo inspections is to consider the use of internal inspection drones.

Drones can be used to inspect the inside of silos and other difficult to access areas on farms, and because they are operated remotely by drone pilots – they reduce the risks of silo inspections.

Farmers and farm workers are seriously injured and killed every year while working on or inside silos and other structures. Silos are of an enclosed nature and there is usually a reasonably foreseeable specified risk, so under the 1997 Confined Space Regulations, are classed as a confined space.

A top of silo access point

Drone Silo Inspections

MRS Training & Rescue are proud to be one of the first companies to offer internal drone silo inspection services throughout the UK. Our drone pilots are trained to be able to perform onsite drone inspections which are free from risks – and can help farmers identify faults quickly and without the need to wait for a planned maintenance shut down. We can also produce a report and live video footage which can be shared with the customer.

Our drone inspections allow farmers to take a close look at the interior of their storage facilities without the need to risk anyone entering the space. Bypassing the need for time consuming and expensive scaffolding.

When inspecting silos on farms, our specialist drone pilots will initially do a fly through of the space. This is then followed up by further flights to enable them to get close and inspect any known issues.

The drone we use has an inbuilt 4K optical camera that can give detailed images down to 0.18 mm/px resolution to spot the tiniest faults. It also has a powerful lighting system and thermal imaging capabilities, which can help identify issues with the insulation of the silo.

With an overall dimension just below 40cm (15.7 in) our drone can fly in tight spaces and easily navigate around obstacles. 

The drone is only suitable for areas that do not have DSEAR rated explosive environments, but if the silos have been cleaned there should not be explosive materials such as dust, present. 


A drone inspecting the inside of a silo

Speak to our Drone Experts

Here at MRS Training & Rescue, we have the experience and equipment necessary to support farmers looking to complete physical or drone silo inspections. Read our case study or contact us to learn more about the reports we produce, or the drone footage we can provide to support in the correct maintenance of farm silos and other agricultural structures.



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