Farmer Focus: Time to update rules for young tractor drivers – Farmers


As harvest approaches, our consideration turns to trailer upkeep, mix servicing, grain retailer preparation and any mandatory coaching (alongside haymaking, irrigating and spraying).

Over the years we have now had a couple of apprentices in our workforce, and this 12 months we have now agreed to tackle an area lad who finishes college this summer season.

He’s solely 16, however eager as mustard, and has been right here in class holidays and Saturdays since February.

As his expertise construct and he passes his take a look at, he’ll be venturing on to the roads a bit, so I believed I’d higher update myself on the varied obligations of an employer of a young tractor driver with an F-class licence.

See additionally: Video: All you want to find out about passing your B+E trailer take a look at

In phrases of security (notably grain haulage), I’d class weight and pace to be main components in accident prevention, however surprisingly, the rules carry no restriction past Cat B licence holders on this regard.

The rules main on width (2.45m) however fail to say the place width is to be measured. Is it the extremities (mirrors), most important physique (say mudguard edges) or throughout the tyres (that are clearly observe-width adjustable)?

A traditional 12t grain trailer measures under the restrict in its most important physique, however wider to the extremities of the hydraulic again door.

It’s all a bit ambiguous and old-fashioned, actually. The trailer axles have to be both single, or closed coupled tandem, not more than 840mm aside.

I measured the axles of what was our “large” 8t corn trailer within the Eighties and located its axles to be 900mm aside. A 12t Mono on 550/45r22.5 tyres was a couple of metre, and a 14-tonner about 1.3m.

So technically, all are unlawful till he’s 17, when magically all of them turn out to be secure. Crazy.

See additionally: Taking your tractor take a look at – all you want to know

With the security document this trade has, it’s excessive time the laws was each match for objective and sensible to implement.

This means a 16-12 months-outdated can’t drive a tractor able to 50kph on a highway. We had been all young as soon as, however again then even 40kph was uncommon.

And the gross practice weight needs to be restricted to the “outdated rules” determine of 24 tons (24.39t) – which basically means beginning out on a smaller and slower rig, to find out how weight and pace have an effect on stopping. Proper servicing and common checks are additionally obligatory.

Have a secure and bountiful harvest everybody. I’m off to transfer an irrigator…


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