Teenagers are being offered the chance to develop or improve their tractor driving ability through a dedicated course in Co. Kerry.

Several hundred young people have completed the ‘Safe Tractor Driving Skills’ course since it was developed by the farm families committee of North East West Kerry Development (NEWKD) around a decade ago.

Chair of the committee, John Dalton told Agriland that the training was developed to “create safety among teenagers who are working with tractors on farms”.

“We noticed that a lot of accidents were happening during the holiday period when teenagers were helping on farms. It is important to develop good habits from a young age,” he explained.

“If they are taught the right way of doing things, it sticks with them. We have even heard of teenagers who have completed the course correcting some bad habits at home.

“We hope that the course has an impact and potentially prevents accidents. The machinery that these teenagers may be driving is very big nowadays,” Dalton added.

Tractor skills

The tractor skills training, which is provided by Farm Relief Services (FRS) in partnership with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), is aimed at 14-16-year-olds, with certificates presented to all participants.

The course teaches participants about carrying out safety checks on a tractor to ensure it is in good working order, the importance of having the driver’s seat in the correct position and how to operate a trailer.

The event also includes a first-aid course coordinated by Holland Safety.

The one-day courses will take place at the following locations:

  • Listowel Mart – June 27;
  • Castleisland Mart – June 28;
  • Tralee Mart – June 29.

John Dalton thanked local garages for supplying the tractors and trailers and the marts for hosting the courses, which are sponsored by FBD and Lee Strand co-op.

Anyone who is interested in taking part in the events is asked to contact the Listowel office of NEWKD.