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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,661

    Default How Hard is it to Learn To Drive/Operate a Tractor?

    Finally... after 7 1/2 years of self-care boarding/leasing, the farm owner is going to let us use the big Ford farm tractor. Hallelujah!

    It took her getting royally P.O.'d at her nephew (aka Lazy "Farm Manager") who lives there virtually cost free yet does the least amount of work for the privilege.

    Because of his laziness and refusal to abide by his aunt's wishes that the farm remain organic, we are getting no hay from the farm because he "didn't feel like" putting out the corn gluten as a weed pre-emergent on the 28 acre hay field. He wanted to use chemical fertilizer/herbicide. She said "HE** NO!" So nothing got done. Now the field is full of saw grass and will sit to --ahem-- rest. At least I heard about this in time to order hay from someone else & get it delivered.

    The manure pile hasn't been turned in over a year. Allegedly he doesn't have time.

    The horse pastures haven't been mowed but maybe 3 times in the 5 years he's been there. We willingly rotate the horses whenever asked, but the mowing is never done.

    The owner wanted the back pasture divided into 3 sections for rotational purposes, but he doesn't have time to dig the holes with the tractor.

    The owner wanted the pile of scrap metal picked up & hauled away to sell but he doesn't have time for that either.

    Well, we have the time and passion for farm work -- and love to serve the owner. She's a sweetheart.

    So, now I get to learn how to drive the tractor, hook up the bushhog, use the front end loader & auger. Wheeeeeeee!

    Hard, easy? Speak to me Tractor Ladies
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,618

    Default Anxiouis to READ this thread = I NEED TO LEARN TOO ~

    Anxious to read this thread ```

    I NEED TO LEARN TOO ! John Deere is waiting !

    PLEASE HELP ~~~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,661

    Default

    You go ZuZu!!!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,618

    Default NOT YET YIKES EEEKK NEED SOME DIRECTIONS ~~~

    yikes not yet ... don't know how to turn the damn thing on yet !
    you first ChocoMare ``` I'll follow your lead ...
    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    You go ZuZu!!!
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    16,542

    Default

    SUPER EASY. Just have someone show you how.

    I learned to drive the tractors--a little Ford 7N and a big green Oliver--when I worked at the barn. It was seriously one five minute lesson on each. Driving the tractor was the easy part of the job



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    31,866

    Default

    No. you can drive a car, you can drive a tractor!

    It will probably take some time to get used to clutch=break in most instances, especially when you are used to automatic.

    I drove (albeit at walking speed) tractors for my uncle when I was barely able to look over the steering wheel. Ok, he didn't let me use the gadgets....

    take it slow, keep in mind the geometry of the beast (so you don't flip it)
    and if/when you use the drive shaft thing on it, use extreme caution! That part is extremely dangerous and has cost a many a god man his life or a limb!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    Mr. HydroPHILE and I can teach you if you can't find someone closer. It is not hard at all. I prefer the older tractors over the new and fancy ones. It's sort of like a LARGE lawnmower
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2008
    Location
    SE, PA
    Posts
    1,074

    Default

    Easy!! Took DH about an hour with me to get it down and now it's MINE....(insert evil laugh) alll MINE!!
    Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,865

    Default

    Super easy, just have someone show you how to turn it on, where the gas handle is, the brake pedals, how to change gears and get to using it.

    You may have hydraulics to hook up, super easy to do once someone shows you how to pull back the collar on one end of the hose and insert the other and what handles to use to get those working.

    When using the loader bucket or anything you lift in front of you, don't overload it and try always to move on with the weight as low as you can manage, so it won't tip you over or sideways, especially on uneven ground.

    Now, PTO is that shaft at the back that turns the gears in the big mowers behind and that has to be respected, as it is turning when engaged and can catch your pant leg, shoe laces or shirt sleeve and injure or kill you dragging you into the machinery.
    Always turn that completely off before approaching it to disentangle wire or string or anything around it.

    Driving the tractor is really easy, once someone shows you where everything is and you get a bit of practice with it.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2010
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Posts
    2,811

    Default

    I agree, super easy. Have fun

    Maybe she should just get rid of the "manager" and make a deal with you to do the work! Just a thought....
    www.Somermistfarm.com
    Hunter Ponies & Quality GSDs
    www.UnleashedK9.net



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,467

    Default Not hard at all

    Just take it slow. Be careful. Wear appropriate footwear. And realize when turning that you have something either in front of or behind you. It does not articulate when turning like a truck and trailer, it all turns at once. Remembering this will save you repairing something you ran the bucket or bushog into.

    We have:

    A Big farm tractor
    Dump truck
    bucket truck
    backhoe


    Equipment is your Friend!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,379

    Default

    The only thing I can caution you about is that on an old one like ours, sometimes things have failed or broken, so for an example your gear decal will be gone and you'll have to memorize which one of those steppy thingies is which, and the FEL will be really jumpy or stuff like that. If you have ever had an old POS car you'll be OK but if you've never driven anything but new it can be an education.

    For Forklift driving I had to do a test, written and working, and one of the biggest things is never to cross a slope - you always want to go up it, or down it, because the center of gravity is high, a load changes your center of gravity and rollover accidents are often deadly. On the farm you have to do what you have to do, but keep that in mind.

    The working test was long but actually good practice, They had a circle made of equipment and I had to thread my way in, turn around and come out - go to the next space and do it again, six inches of room on either side, by the last one I was pretty blase about it. Then there was lifting practice, over and over, lift and stack, move the pile, unstack and stack again - there's a hay squeeze video where they have to do this as part of a race - and the more practice you get the more effective you will be when you use it - instead of driving the tractor and mowing it'll become using the tractor to mow.

    I hate driving ours though - mostly because I don't do it enough and DH is a big baling wire and chewing gum kinda guy - he can make anything run and stay running but woe betide the guy who doesn't know the secret to it! Actually that may be your Farm Manager's problem, if he can't keep the tractor running long enough to get anything done then he certainly won't "have time".
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2003
    Location
    Fifth Grade Land!!! USA
    Posts
    1,319

    Default

    And always put in the cotter pins! Our BM's husband for some reason did not put the pins in when pulling the little sawdust wagon, needless to say, it did not stay hitched ! That was fun to fix.
    Member-Arab Dressage Riders Clique
    RIP Barichello



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    When I was learning, the hardest thing was the brake pedal. Actually, it's two brake pedals and (usually) a little doohicky to hook them together. If you hit one brake pedal, that side of the tractor stops immediately but the other doesn't. A very quick 180 is only fun if you planned it! The tractor I learned on had a big gap between the pedals and no doohicky, and sometimes (especially in a panic situation) I wouldn't get my foot sideways enough to hit both pedals.

    But, that was a big, old one. The newer ones are a lot like a big riding lawnmower--pretty foolproof.
    ---------------------------



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,810

    Default

    Sitting in the airplane, ready to start out on my first flying lesson (late '60s in a much older Piper Cub), the first words out of the instructor's mouth,

    "Can you drive a tractor?"

    "Yes sir."

    "Good. Then you won't have any trouble. You have to use both hands and feet to drive a tractor, and it's the same here."

    I remember it like it was yesterday. He was right.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,410

    Default

    I agree that if you can drive a car you can drive a tractor. You just have to get used to slightly different controls.

    For the first couple of years we had our tractor my husband wouldn't let me drive it. The conversations would go something like this, "honey, could you show me how to get the tractor started so I can drag my ring?" And he would promptly hop on the tractor and drag my ring for me. Oh how I miss those days! He never wanted to take the time to actually show me how to do it and once he finally did I wondered what the big deal was (answer = it wasn't a big deal, he just liked to feel needed, lol! Oh, and it was "his toy").

    If you have someone there to show you how to operate it and how to hook up the accessories you should be good to go in no time flat!
    __________________________________
    Forever exiled in the NW.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,779

    Default

    The biggest part about tractor driving is to remember not to go where you ought not to go. Tractors have high centers of gravity. If you Google "farmers killed in rollover accidents" you'll not only find a lot of incidents but even a law firm that specializes in representing the survivors. That suggests a level of hazzard.

    Tractor driving is also generally a "slow business." This means a better ride for the operator and less wear and tear on the tractor.

    Pulling any impliment means you have a large "tail." Kind of like pulling a horse trailer. But the "tail" sometimes has large cutting blades moving at 540 rpm. This does argue for some caution.

    A healthy respect for the law of gravity usually serves the tractor driver well!!!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    31,866

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    The biggest part about tractor driving is to remember not to go where you ought not to go. Tractors have high centers of gravity. If you Google "farmers killed in rollover accidents" you'll not only find a lot of incidents but even a law firm that specializes in representing the survivors. That suggests a level of hazzard.

    Tractor driving is also generally a "slow business." This means a better ride for the operator and less wear and tear on the tractor.

    Pulling any impliment means you have a large "tail." Kind of like pulling a horse trailer. But the "tail" sometimes has large cutting blades moving at 540 rpm. This does argue for some caution.

    A healthy respect for the law of gravity usually serves the tractor driver well!!!

    G.

    excellent advice!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,420

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    The biggest part about tractor driving is to remember not to go where you ought not to go. Tractors have high centers of gravity. If you Google "farmers killed in rollover accidents" you'll not only find a lot of incidents but even a law firm that specializes in representing the survivors. That suggests a level of hazzard.

    Tractor driving is also generally a "slow business." This means a better ride for the operator and less wear and tear on the tractor.

    Pulling any impliment means you have a large "tail." Kind of like pulling a horse trailer. But the "tail" sometimes has large cutting blades moving at 540 rpm. This does argue for some caution.

    A healthy respect for the law of gravity usually serves the tractor driver well!!!

    G.
    Been there done that! I don't recommend it! Treat the damned thing with total respect!!!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    Think the first time I drove a tractor was in college and everything was all hooked up and ready to go. As easy as driving a car.

    I was working on a horse farm the first time I was told to go bush hog. There was nobody there to show me how to hook it up. But, really- it's a 3-point hitch and a PTO. It's not like you can hook up something wrong. Have somebody show you how if possible.

    Be sure to maintain a VERY healthy respect for that PTO, and heed the safety warnings that others have mentioned.

    Oh, I almost always leave the little do-hickey between the brakes locked. I see no need to steer with the brakes for anything I ever do with a tractor, and my feet aren't quite big enough to hit them both evenly.



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