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.
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.
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.
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.