How to drive a tractor (with pictures)

How to drive a tractor (with pictures)
How to drive a tractor (with pictures)

There are tractors of all sizes, with engines of different powers. They are generally used on farms or to do certain jobs more easily at home. For example, you can hitch a plow to plow a plot, a blower to remove snow, a bucket to move wood, stones or slurry, but also use a fork to lift large stumps, small dead trees or any other heavy object. More simply, a tractor can still be used to mow your lawn. It is therefore an essential and versatile tool, especially in a rural environment.


Part 1 of 3: carry out the necessary checks on the tractor

Drive a Tractor Step 1

Step 1. Check the tractor for general safety

Walk around your tractor for possible problems before getting on. Some bolts or nuts, especially on the wheels, could for example need a little turn of the wrench from time to time.

Drive a Tractor Step 2

Step 2. Check your tractor tire pressure

Indeed, if one or more tires are deflated, the tractor loses its stability and this poses a significant risk to the safety of the driver and people in the vicinity. If you don't drive your tractor every day, get in the habit of taking a look at your tires to make sure they're in good condition before you roam your estate.

Drive a Tractor Step 3

Step 3. Also inspect the stabilizer chains to make sure they are properly installed

Wait until you have hitched something to your tractor.

Drive a Tractor Step 4

Step 4. Lift the hood of your tractor

Check that the cooling system, radiator and battery are in good working order. Also, make sure you have enough oil and fuel for the job you plan to do.

Drive a Tractor Step 5

Step 5. Play it safe

Wear boots with non-slip soles and tie long hair at the back of your head. Remove any jewelry that could be pulled along by the different moving axes and avoid wearing loose clothing for the same reasons. Finally, climb into your tractor using the handles provided for this purpose.

Part 2 of 3: driving the tractor

Drive a Tractor Step 6

Step 1. Take a seat on the tractor seat

Familiarize yourself with the different levers and try to find the clutch. Remember to adjust your seat so that you can comfortably reach the steering wheel, throttle and all the levers you need.

Buckle your seat belt whenever other vehicles are around the tractor. It is noted that most farmers neglect to fasten their seat belts, although this seems to make common sense. However, they are much more likely to need to shut off the engine and quickly jump off the tractor to do something than to protect themselves from a traffic accident. The safety bar serves precisely to prevent serious injuries. Be sure to follow all safety instructions and drive your tractor safely

Drive a Tractor Step 7

Step 2. Press down on the clutch with your left foot

Before starting your tractor, the engine must be in neutral.

Drive a Tractor Step 8

Step 3. Brake with your right foot before turning the key to start the engine

Once your tractor is started, lightly press the accelerator to warm up the engine. If you start driving right after starting your tractor, there is a good chance that you will stall.

Drive a Tractor Step 9

Step 4. Release the handbrake to start driving

Engage first gear while keeping the clutch pedal on the floor.

Drive a Tractor Step 10

Step 5. Slowly lift your foot off the clutch pedal

As with all other vehicles equipped with a manual gearbox, you will need to let the clutch pedal up slowly. Note that it is easier to engage a tractor, as it is not necessary to press the accelerator at the same time. Begin to press the accelerator lightly as you take your left foot off the brake.

Drive a Tractor Step 11

Step 6. Maintain a steady and fairly slow speed

Tractors, far from being made for speed, are more designed to be tough and powerful. Do not push the engine of a tractor. Ride smoothly, take care of your turns and maneuvers and take every bump or hill with the utmost care.

If you are using a trailer or any other equipment, it is important to pay special attention to speed, turns and maneuvering

Drive a Tractor Step 12

Step 7. To stop your tractor, fully depress the clutch pedal

Put your engine in neutral and apply the handbrake. Also release the accelerator. Finally, turn the key to stop the engine.

Part 3 of 3: use a tractor

Drive a Tractor Step 13

Step 1. Make sure all tractor operators are trained and familiar with the tractor

Learn about the labor laws for all employees or temporary workers under the age of 16. Do not hesitate to consult the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards or any other legal reference valid in your region. Indeed, certain work requiring the use of heavy machinery must be expressly carried out by experienced persons, because of the risks that this implies.

  • For example, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act) prohibits minors under the age of 16 from using a tractor with a PTO of more than 20 HP in the United States. Likewise, young people should never install or remove equipment from a tractor of this power.
  • Note that it is necessary to present a specific declaration in order to be able to drive a tractor on the road in certain countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia for example. In other areas, no such authorization is required, as long as the tractor is clearly visible, thanks to regulatory light reflectors.
Drive a Tractor Step 14

Step 2. Equip your tractor with mowing equipment

This type of equipment is particularly useful if you have to maintain large, difficult plots covered with grass and brush of all kinds.

Drive a Tractor Step 15

Step 3. Install a bucket on your tractor and learn how to use it properly

A wide range of equipment is usually supplied with most Kubotas, as well as smaller tractors. For example, you can transform yours into a kind of miniature backhoe loader by installing a bucket, which will allow you to easily transport brush, waste or rubble lying around the corners of your property.

When your tractor is equipped with a bucket, pay special attention to your driving. Always remember to place the bucket in the correct position when riding, that is, not fully raised to avoid high tension lines, nor fully lowered to prevent it scraping the ground

Drive a Tractor Step 16

Step 4. It is possible to hitch a plow to the most powerful tractors, which will allow you to plow plots before sowing your future crop

Indeed, the sowing work will be much easier and more efficient if you have moved the soil with a plow beforehand.

Drive a Tractor Step 17

Step 5. Check that hitches heavier than the tractor itself have an independent brake

For each piece of equipment, coupling or other material, you must carefully read the instructions in the user manual, in order to be able to drive the whole in perfect safety conditions. Safety is precisely the reason that should prompt you to check that particularly heavy couplings have their own brake, that it is in good working order and that you know how to use it.

Drive a Tractor Step 18

Step 6. Properly hitch any trailer or farm equipment to your tractor

Follow safety instructions carefully when hitching up a trailer or any other equipment.

  • Carry out these operations in an open and free place. In particular, make sure that no one is in front, let alone behind the tractor.
  • Slowly reverse the tractor.
  • Come to a gentle stop as close to the trailer or hitch as possible, using the assisted braking system.
  • Put your engine in neutral.
  • Get off the tractor and install the hitch.


  • Maintain a low speed with your tractor.
  • Watch out for bumps and ribs. Slow down to make your turns.
  • Tractors are anything but toys. Keep children a safe distance from your tractor.
  • Use caution when hitching up or removing a trailer or other equipment.


  • Never leave a tractor unattended with the engine running, even when stopped.
  • Never turn on the engine of your tractor in a garage or closed shelter. The exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, which can be fatal.
  • Never leave a tractor engine running if you are not in the driver's seat. Serious accidents have already been recorded, due to tractors accidentally running over their owners.
  • Never take risks when using your tractor. Likewise, take your time and avoid any rush.

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