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NorthTec has added tractor safety to its suite of agricultural training programmes, with a new short course getting underway this year.
With the cost of modern tractors running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, learning to operate the vehicles safely and efficiently is a must for good agricultural workers. Being highly computerised, the machines are now very different from the basic tractors manufactured in the past.
The programme kicked off with a special session for NorthTec tutors, led by specialist instructor, Andy Carrie, who travelled to Northland from the Hawke’s Bay.
Held on a farm just outside Dargaville, the sessions taught participants how to drive safely both on the flat and over hilly country. They also learned best practice for the attachment of implements, stability, pre-checks and induction.
The safe tractor skills course will this year be added as a short course, run over a day and half, for farming industry groups of four or more people.
Jay Botha, NorthTec’s Agribusiness tutor, said: “The variety of tractors and equipment used during the training widened our scope and practical experience. Our appreciation for the continuous progress and newest technological advancements in the bigger and more advanced kind of tractors definitely grew.
“I personally never drove one of those big, automatic tractors with 18 gears before, and always wished I could. It surely was an unforgettable experience. It is good to be able to share practical experiences, information and knowledge about these tractors with students.”
NorthTec is offering a range of Level 3 programmes in agriculture and horticulture throughout Northland, with a few places remaining, to get under way in March. To enrol or for more information, call 0800 162 100 or go to www.northtec.ac.nz.
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