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  1. #11
    Padawan Tractor Learner
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    Johndeere3720's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Posts
    6,368
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Tractor
    Deere 317 & L118

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    I started out around age 8 on a JD riding mower w/ a hydrostatic tranny. Then i slowly moved up to a new John deere 2210 at age 10, soon after up to a new John Deere 3720. In my case, everything at first was hydrostatic, however I got my share of many different gear tractors. What I learned from all this seat time not only allows me to be able to operate most any tractor, it also made my driving experience on the road much better since I already had an idea of how to drive. In your case, I defiantly encourage that you have your son read the operators manual (if available), that will give him a good idea of the tractors main functions. Then give him a field trial, remove any implements from the tractor and show him how to operate the tractor in an open field. Show him all of the safety mechanisms on the tractor so he is aware of how they function as well as the dangers of operating a tractor. Give instructions on how to stop immediately if need be as well as how to change gears, use the clutch, etc. Eventually introduce him to the 3 point hitch, PTO, and other components as he becomes more experienced. Just my
    My Fleet:
    2004 Deere 317 Skid Steer Loader
    66" Construction bucket, imatch QA adapter, CU72 Jake Rake, Middle Buster, 60" Landscape rake, 54"x 48" Pallet forks
    2005 John Deere L118
    42" deck

    Check out my rakes: www.Jakesimplements.com

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  2. #12
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    602
    Location
    MICHIGAN
    Tractor
    JOHN DEERE 2320

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    Quote Originally Posted by vwnotrunning View Post
    Be sure to let him truly become comfortable with operating the tractor by itself without implements before you have him do any actual work. I remember the stress (fortunately no catastrophic accidents) when starting off too soom with production. It needs to be enjoyable during the early learning - not under a time table.
    I remember the first time working up a field with a disc.
    A whole different ballgame than just driving the tractor.
    I was 11 or 12 years old and pretty nervous the first 1/2 hour.
    Learned a whole new respect for the power and danger of the equipment.
    What a blast though!
    2012 JD 2320, HOMEMADE CANOPY, 54" FRONT BLADE, 54" MID DECK MOWER, HYDRAULIC ANGLE 60" REAR BLADE, QUICK HITCH, STAINLESS FRONT MOUNT SPRAY TANK W/BOOM, 200CX LOADER W/ 61" BUCKET, HOMEMADE BALLAST BOX,HOMEMADE BUCKET GRAPPLE
    1998 "BIG DOOLEY" Chevy K3500 Crew Cab (36.000 miles & counting)

    United Steel Workers Union 12934

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    743
    Location
    pa
    Tractor
    kubota 7040sud

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    at 14 it should take him a few min to get the hang of itjust make sure before he exit the mach he stops all moving attaments mowers tillers etc i was 7 fellow the old man in the dump i was on the cat crawler loader 12 ton of steel under me

  4. #14
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    363
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Tractor
    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    I'm hoping your son has used a ride on mower or ATV , even better if he has used a motor bike or spent some time in a car round your paddocks so at least he has some idea of steering & throttle control - good motor bike riders tend also to be easier to teach to operate a tractor because they have a good idea of balancing the throttle, controlling the clutch & the inherent dangers of "wheel standing"....

    IMO the first steps in teaching anyone to operate a tractor is having run them through the steps to start & more importantly stop (including the engine ) the tractor until it is almost second nature......then & only then should they be allowed to actually start/operate the machine.

    As for riding "pillion" whilst someone else is operating the tractor, unless there is a second pasenger seat & seat belt forget it - if in doubt research the fatalities/injuries statistics resulting from this crazy practice....

    Yes, I too can quote "I've been driving tractors all my life" & "I started out when I was a boy sitting next to my Dad & Grandfather.....", the fact is that was the way most of todays farmers learnt when they were younger & that doesn't actually make it a good teaching practice- unfortunately I also recalled too many of my young friends being injured or worse from this learning "experience" helping out on the farm operating tractors from way too early an age...tractors aren't toys & are far from forgiving, make a mistake & it could be your last.....

    OK,now comes the first "solo":-
    - Remove all implements from the tractor including if practical the FEL
    - Operate only on flat ground, have an agreement on 1 simple hand signal to stop the machine & a planned route of where the tractor will be traveling - use your hand signal early as possible to have your son prove he can stop the engine of the tractor (it's way too late if he's in a situation beyond your/his control & finds he can't then stop the machine)
    - Use lowest gear in high range only, if the tractor is in low range it's too difficult to stall & will crawl over anything if it all goes wrong

    Once he becomes sufficent competent in "driving", the next step is learning how to hook the implements up safely & under no circumstances allow him to connect a PTO shaft to anything but a tractor with the engine stopped ....& when he masters this then ask the question how to teach him to operate a tractor with an implement- as we all know this is a whole different ball game.....

  5. #15
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    84
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    2 years ago I purchased a JD 3320. My previous yard tool was a 19" 3 1/2 hp lawn mower.... I learned by trial and error. My daughter asked to learn to drive it. I started by showing her how to go forward and backward..... Then to use the FEL... Then to park it in the shed.... She learned very quickly But most importantly I didn't advance her until she mastered the previous task.... It seemed to work.

  6. #16
    Platinum Member KennyG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    996
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    Lots of good advice here, but remember, he's not going to do what you tell him to do, he's going to do what he sees you doing. Set a good example.

  7. #17
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    912
    Location
    TR
    Tractor
    MH744

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    I was 10 when I started to use Massey Harris 44 to plow the field. Most difficult part of the work for me was turning the corners, controlling steering wheel was above my power. I was hating to turn the corners then. But, it had no hydraulic steering. Later, when I started to use a newer tractor with hydraulic steering, it was like cadillac. As far as I know, original Ford 3600 has no hydraulic steering. But, it can be added. (if yours doesn't have it, I can send from here.) Anyway, as one said above, using tractor on the road and in the field with attachment are two different things.

  8. #18
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    I know our provincial 4-H put out a safety video for ATV use, does your 4-H have any tractor safety materials? Or local farmer's institutes? Ag offices?
    Every child is different when it comes to listening to instructions and being respectful of machinery. Hopefully your son has shown interest in the tractor and has helped with maintence like oil changes and greasing it already. I remember just learning to operate the loader first when I was a child...

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    401
    Location
    Dallas Oregon
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi MT372, Ford NAA

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    Lots of good advice so far, I'd only add that it may be a function of his relative maturity. He may decide that is is way too much. If so respect that and let him decide when it is time. Having patience will also be key, i remember some really hard learning with my dad when he was upset/impatient (but generally he was a fine instructor, thanks Dad).

  10. #20
    Silver Member TerryR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    213
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Tractor
    JD 870

    Default Re: Teaching a 14 year old to drive the tractor...

    I was "taught" to drive a tractor at about age 8 or 10. My dad was spraying weeds along the road with a 300-gal. sprayer behind a Farmall H, using a hose and hand boom. When he got to the end of the hose he told me to get on the tractor and move it forward. He may have offered directions, but they would have been difficult to hear above the din of the engine on the sprayer rig. It seemed quite natural, but I'd grown up on a farm with equipment around all the time, and was naturally inclined to learn how things work. A different kid, with a different background, maybe not.

    Terry

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