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

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  • 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! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

  • #2
    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 ! "

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      You go ZuZu!!!
      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

      Comment


      • #4
        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 ...
        Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
        You go ZuZu!!!
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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!
            Originally posted by BigMama1
            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
            GNU Terry Prachett

            Comment


            • #7
              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
              Originally posted by talkofthetown
              As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

              Comment


              • #8
                Easy!! Took DH about an hour with me to get it down and now it's MINE....(insert evil laugh) alll MINE!!
                "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

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                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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
                    Quality Hunter Ponies

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          RIP Mydan Mydandy+
                          RIP Barichello

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.
                            ---------------------------

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.
                              www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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!
                                __________________________________
                                Flying F Sport Horses
                                Horses in the NW

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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!
                                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                    GNU Terry Prachett

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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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