7 Tips on how to drive a tractor (Beginners Guide)

Tractors are very useful farm equipment. About 90 percent of farms in the United States own a tractor for daily work activities on the farm. To learn how to drive a tractor, you need to understand the basics in this instructional article.

How to drive a tractor

Tractors come in different sizes and can be used for a variety of farm activities. Tractors extensions include trailers. buckets, plow, harrows, and fork lifters. Tractors can be used to prepare lands for crop cultivation, move livestock using the trailer and lift dead trees using the forklift. It is an essential tool and comes with great joy if you can drive. Here is all you need to know to drive a tractor. Check Here! Top tractor brands in the world.

Safety checks for tractors

You need to put your safety first before starting a tractor. Below are safety tips you need to consider before moving and stopping a tractor.

  • Be in protective clothing and footwear.
  • Read the tractor user manual and understand every instruction. Every tractor brand comes with its own set of instructions in the user manual.
  • When stopping a tractor make sure the handbrake is applied.
  • Reset all controls to default (Turn off all controls)
  • STOP the engine. WARNING! Never leave the tractor engine on when not in use.
  • Do not leave the key inside. Take it out whenever you stop the tractor.

After ensuring user safety protocol, check the state and conditions of the machine and make sure it is in a good shape before moving it. John Deere Used Tractors Forsale.

Inspect the tractor before moving it

You may want to go around the tractor to check for flat tires or tires with low pressure. Low-pressure tires make the tractor unstable and likely to get stuck in the mud. Loose bolts and nuts that need tightening should be taken care of. Loose bolts and nuts can expose you to danger when tractor parts fall off.

The next thing you have to do is check for water, fuel, and oil levels. With most tractors, thee oil tank and be found behind. Take out the filter and check the oil level. Change the oil or top it up if needs to. For modern tractors, you can find the oil and water tank when you open the hood. NB: Never drive a tractor on an empty water tank. This can cause overheating of the tractor engine. Also, you may want to check the radiator, cooling systems, and battery to make sure everything is okay.

Next step: Driving the tractor

Get into the tractor seat. The first thing you should do is buckle the safety seat belt. This is very important. Never drive without putting on the safety belt. The seat belt prevents injuries when there is an accident. In cases of heavy crashes, the seat belt can hold you firm to the seat, preventing you from falling out. The next thing you have to do is to familiarize yourself with every control button, gear, and leavers in the tractor. Symbols on controls have their meanings and functions in the tractor user manual which is a basic requirement for you to read before tempting to drive the tractor.

Next, adjust and position the seat to have full grip and control of the wheel. Make sure the seat is fit to make you feel comfortable. Identify the clutch, accelerator, and brake inside the tractor. This can be found below the steering wheel. The clutch is positioned on the left, in the middle is the accelerator and on the right side is the brake. Position the left foot on the clutch and the right foot on the brake. This is similar to every transmission vehicle.

How to move the tractor?

Step on the clutch to the floor with your left foot. Make sure the transmission is set to neutral. The neutral position is designated with the “N” letter. Get to know the functions of the transmission box and water every letter and number signifies.

  • Functions of the transmission box
    1. Neutral Gear: The N or neutral gear serves to reduce power to the wheels while enabling the driver to regulate the steering.
    2. First Gear: First gear is a setting with both manual and automatic gearboxes that limits the quantity of gasoline fed into the engine.
    3. Second Gear: Second gear is used while you’re on a wet roadway and have to slow down to accommodate your wheels to grip the road surface. You may also use second gear when descending the downhill.
    4. Third Gear: When you need greater power but less speed use the third, use this setting to prevent the gearbox from moving to a higher gear.
    5. Fourth Gear: This is a gear used for increasing the speed further than the first gear.
    6. Reverse Gear: In situations, you need to move the tractor backward. You need the reverse setting to enable backward movement.

Engage the break with your right foot by stepping on it and turning to start the engine with the key. Keep the clutch on hold in order not to kill the engine. Drop the throttle slightly for the engine to warm up. The next thing you want to do is release the parking brake and move the transmission to first gear (Represented with 1st) while holding the clutch to the floor.

Bring the clutch up from the floor by slowly lifting your left foot. Taking your left foot off the clutch at once will kill the engine. Do it gently when lifting out the clutch. You don’t need to push in more gas now. Keep the throttle low whiles you take your right foot off the brake. Remember not to push in more gas. Take it slowly until you are okay withing moving the tractor in curves.

All set and done, you may want to park the tractor. First, locate a good parking space where safety is assured. Step on the clutch again with your left foot to touch the floor and then change the gears to neutral. Lift the parking brake up. The parking brake prevents unusual movement of the tractor when in the park. It can very dangerous when the tractor is parked on a slope without engaging the parking brake. Slow down the throttle whiles you turn the key to turn off the engine. Remember not to leave the key in the tractor when you stop it.

Final thought

Driving a tractor is very technical and needs a lot of practice to perfect. The transmission types can be very challenging compared to the automatic tractors we have now. It’s just like driving a normal car. You need to exercise a lot of caution when driving in order to put yourself and others at risk.

Practice often and always use an open space like the field with fewer people around. It’s quite nervous when starting to drive with a lot of people around. If you find it difficult doing drive the tractor alone, you should call for assistance. Someone who knows how to drive a tractor to assist you to drive safely and sound.

Watch this video tutorial on how to drive a tractor

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