In Ireland, statistically, death or injury caused from machinery accidents equates to nearly 49% of all farm incidents.

Most incidents involve getting entangled, crushed, struck, caught in, as well as falls from farm machinery.  All of these incidents are avoidable.  To do this, employers must ensure adequate training is provided in the safe use of all machines.

Because farming has historically been an industry that has been run by families working on the farm from a young age, children are seen to help out in driving and operating these often big, heavy machines.

There are always time pressures because of harvest deadlines and weather conditions that make this industry such a high-risk environment for incidents to occur.  Driving too fast and/or rushing can often lead on to corners being cut, just to enable to get the work completed which invariably leads to not taking into account the hidden dangers.

Add into the mix:

• Tired drivers
• Inexperienced drivers
• Lack of concentration
• Steep terrain
• Poor mechanical condition of machinery
• Unguarded moving parts

It is easy to see it can be a recipe for disaster.  Much has been done by the Health & Safety Authority and farm organisations in recent times to try and change things for the better.  Regular farm inspections help to maintain a minimum maintenance standard.  Frequent ad campaigns on TV help with awareness, but more is needed, including a stronger duty of care and providing adequate training to help understand the safe and correct use of a piece of equipment for any person, both young and old.

Terrafirma Training Limited (TFT) is proud to announce that we can now provide top class tractor driving courses aimed at both novice and experienced drivers.  TFT provide Lantra Awards certification that will put employers and employees at ease in that no stone will be left unturned to ensure the safe operation of tractors and their implements.

The courses take an in-depth look at:

• Health & Safety legislation
• Machinery controls
• Pre-start checks
• Operation of the tractor
• Manoeuvring
• Mounted implements
• Trailed machines
• Power take-off shaft (PTO’s)
• Tractor mounted front-end loader

TFT Tractor Driving Courses

Brush up your skills or learn from scratch with TFT’s comprehensive tractor driving course.

Overview in brief:

The tractor is an essential piece of machinery for so many businesses and operating it safely and efficiently is absolutely vital.

Whether you’re an experienced hand or just starting out, our instructors’ will steer you through the entire tractor-driving process.

The finer details:

• This is an integrated training and assessment course
• You will receive a Certificate of Training once it is complete
• We will guide you through the theory behind tractor driving, with sessions  on key health & safety issues
• You’ll also receive plenty of hands-on experience behind the wheel
• Basic operations and manoeuvring will be covered, as will using attachments, trailers and the power take-off shaft (PTO’s)

Course sessions:

• Health & safety legislation
• Controls
• Pre-start checks
• Operation the tractor
• Manoeuvring
• Mounted implements
• Trailed machines
• PTO’s
• Tractor mounted front-end loader.

Worth noting:

Our courses are designed for both novices and more seasoned tractor users.  As a result, our courses can last from two to four days, depending on the experience of those taking part.

What will be covered:

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

• Perform a risk assessment
• Mount and dismount safely
• Understand the purpose and meaning of the instrumentation
• Understand the function of all controls
• Understand the hazards associated with using controls
• Understand the reasons for daily checks
• Start and stop the engine in a safe manner
• Be competent in driving a tractor in a forward and reverse direction
• Leave the tractor in a safe state
• Competently perform checking of the lubrication, cooling and air intake of the engine, perform basic lubrication of the tractor and ensure the tractor is in a safe road-going state
• Attach a mounted implement and manoeuvre in a forward and reverse direction
• Attach a trailed implement and manoeuvre in a forward and reverse direction
• Leave unattached implements in a safe state
• Correctly attach a PTO shaft between tractor and implement
• Attach the PTO shaft guards correctly
• Assess the minimum turning circle of the machine and the angle of the PTO shaft
• Carry out basic operations using tractor mounted loader

For more information regarding tractor courses undertaken by TFT, please feel free to call our chief tractor instructor, Thomas Greene, on 087 203 8545, who will be pleased to discuss any training requirements you may have in relation to the safe operation of tractors.