Is it not every mans dream getting to drive a tractor, I mean how can it not be?!
What is not to love about these big, green machines that you see in fields, on the road, well quite frankly everywhere?
“Nothing” is the answer … well until you get told you have to do a test. I hate tests!!!
So, time to learn all about tractors and how to use them. I had already learnt the basics from doing the tractor racing for the activities, which involves going forward and backwards and that’s it.
Ooo wait … I also know where the button is for the orange flashy lights on the roof 😉
I don’t think this is going to be enough to pass the full test though, I guess I need to get revising and spend some more time with the tractors!! Let’s find out what all those buttons, dials and leavers do.
What I’m about to do, is a proper City & Guilds Qualification : NPTC !!!
As before, it was time to shout Rob and ask for some guidance and pointing in the right direction.
- Step 1 : We started off with looking around the tractor in a bit more detail and connecting all the dots from what I know already with tractors from my mechanic days. The front of the engine, wheels and the general working of the drive is all the same within reason …
- Step 2 : The back of the tractor … that scared face appeared, as funnily enough cars don’t have all that stuff on the back to connect machinery 😮
It’s ok though, I’m always keen to learn and I’m sure I can put the pieces together.
I was all set and ready to bring my best student hat, when I got the news to hold back as we have a new staff member (Brian) joining me to do the test!
Well this was exciting as Rob and Laura have told me a lot about Brian (65+ year old farmer that lives down the road) and I could not wait to meet the person behind the stories.
Just imagine your typical Yorkshire farmer that loves to tell stories about anything and everything. Every time I see Brian, he has a different story for me, it’s never a dull day!!
Now there are two of us on board, we can get back on with the learning about the tractors for the test.
As you can guess, Brian had a bit of a head start on me having only been on a farm all this life, compared to my 3 months! So that’s only 64 years and 9 months more at the maximum!
… BUT Brian does not have a John Deere, so we both still had to learn. The student hat was back on!
We got into the field with two tractors and started hooking up some of the equipment/machinery and learning how to use them and getting comfortable with them. This was what I picked up quickly as I love anything practical. I was moving bails, hooking up trailers/machinery and happily operating them from inside the tractor.
I was well on my way with a bit of confidence which then quickly came to a halt when I started looking at the questioning side of things and having to know all the risks and naming of everything 🙁
I was at the level of knowledge of
“this lever moves that thingy up and this button turns the what-d’you-m-call-it!!!”
Time to get my head in to a book before the big day comes around.
Two weeks after starting to learn about the tractors the test had arrived!!!!
I tried to come into the day fully positive and ready for the test, then I saw Brian who turned around to me and said he was worried and hoping he passes. Great!
If he is panicking then I’m in trouble (GULP!)
PANIC STATION has well and truly now been hit!
So, sat waiting for the tester to arrive and there is a slow bead of sweat making its way down my head, I decided to get myself down to the tractor and give myself a quick look to make myself calm down a bit. The tester in the meantime had arrived and the test started before I even knew it.
I guess it might be the sporting side in me, but I always feel nervous leading up to events, matches, games but then something switches in my head and I focus and stay super calm once I started.
Jump forward two hours. Test all done and we make are way back to the office, with him having a clipboard full of notes and starts writing things down onto a different piece of paper which is then followed by Brian getting a hand shake and getting told he past with flying colours!
He sits back down and another piece of paper is getting written on as he glances up to me every now and again.
But his hand comes up and shakes my hand as I had also PASSED!!!!!!! Not quite flying colours as I got a note of
“Needs more knowledge of the names of the controls”
Clearly the “thingy and what-d’you-m-call-it” didn’t quite cut the mustard!!
Test now passed and now taken a few people out on tractor experience, I guess it’s time to plan what is next to come. ?
Get your voucher booked in, and know you’re in safe hands!!! 😀