Tame Tractor Test

Today Jenny and I have undertaken our 2 hour tractor assessment, which has been the culmination of over 5 days of training. I don’t think either of us realised there was so much to learn. We have used both our Kubota compact tractor and the much larger Massey Ferguson agricultural tractor. We’ve practised with attaching rear-mounted implements, like our flail, which is driven by a yellow PTO (Power Take-Off) shaft.  For hitching the trailer to the Massey Tractor, there is so much metal work at the back of the tractor, that it’s nigh on impossible to lean back to see the drawbar, even for a lanky chap like me. So Jenny perfected the technique of putting the tractor into a safe stop, then leaning out the back window.

Jenny lowering the drawbar to hitch the trailer

Jenny lowering the drawbar to hitch the trailer

Both the tractors

We then connected the hydraulics and practised reversing and tipping the trailer, a real challenge since the high sides and double axle of the trailer means it is reluctant to turn. Robert showed us how to brake only a single rear wheel on the tractor, which is ideal at flicking the tractor round to help trailer reversing.

Tipping the trailer

Tipping the trailer

We regularly use the front loader to load gravel, like loading dumpers on the Swan Lake Park Path Resurfacing Project.  It is also very fun to use the bucket and claw to move larger items, like logs.

Shuffling logs with the front loader and claw

Shuffling logs with the front loader and claw

I’m very pleased to say that Jenny and I passed our assessments for both tractors and the front loader. A big thank you to the trainers and colleagues who took time out to teach us.

Ranger Stuart


About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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