- Drive heavy agricultural machinery, working outdoors in the countryside
- You'll often spend long periods on your own in the tractor, and may work long hours during key periods like harvest time
- Work on a specific farm or move from farm to farm as a contractor
Some drivers work for a specific farm and others work for companies that supply drivers when needed, or are self employed.
- Discussing work schedules with the farm manager
- Carrying out equipment and machinery checks
- Inputting instructions into the cab's control panels
- Ploughing fields and sowing seeds
- Spraying crops with fertilisers and pesticides
- Harvesting vegetable, cereal and non-food crops
- Using baling machines to bind crops and hay ready for storage
- Maintaining hedges and roadside verges with tractor cutting attachments
- Carrying out basic maintenance and repairs
As a tractor driver you will operate farm machinery like tractors or other large vehicles like harvesters. You'll spend a lot of time outdoors in nature, but the work can also be physically demanding.
Seasonal contracts are common, with long working days during busy periods like harvest time. The job can be dusty and dirty, and you'll often spend a lot of time working alone in the cab. Your employer will also provide safety equipment for certain jobs like crop spraying.
There are no set entry requirements but experience in farming or dairying could be useful. You'll also need good timekeeping, the ability to follow instructions, and practical and driving skills. A knowledge of basic mechanics might also be helpful.
You'll need to pass a special driving test - you can take a test to drive a tractor at age 16.
You could do a Level 2 Award in Tractor Driving and Related Occupations or an intermediate apprenticeship in agriculture to get you started.
You may need to get a Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) card to operate some machinery - your employer will normally support you to gain this.
You can take further training to operate a wider range of machinery, which will increase your job prospects. With experience, you could become an agricultural contractor, machinery engineer or farm manager.