Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Anything that doesn't fit in the other boards.

How old is old enough for the average child to operate farm equipment?

If their out of diapers get their butts to work
5
8%
4
0
No votes
5
1
2%
6
6
10%
7
5
8%
8
5
8%
9
2
3%
10
9
15%
11
4
7%
Above 12
22
37%
 
Total votes: 59

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Nesikep
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby Nesikep » Thu May 18, 2017 1:35 am

For tractors, I think the physical ability to operate it is as important as the maturity to do the job.. Skid steers are deceiving because nothing takes strength to operate.

I would have them run a mini excavator at a young age provided the ground is about level, even a crawler, before a skidsteer.. Though they are "protected" in the cab, nothing around the unit would be safe.. poor visibility, etc.

We bought our place when I was 12, and by the time I was 13 I was raking hay and using the pipe wagon.. though I think I was probably 15 or so when I started really working with PTO powered stuff, swathers, balers, and not supervised.
I've had some Oh shyte moments of course too.
There are even different models of tractors with vastly different hazards.. I consider a MF165 about the most dangerous thing ever made.. high, light, grabby brakes, Multipower models have no engine braking in "low", and a PTO engagement that's just full of demons... Massey 255 I have on the other hand has far better weight and balance, no coasting multipower, and a better PTO design
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby herofan » Thu May 18, 2017 6:55 am

ez14. wrote:
herofan wrote:This may not be as cut and dried as it seems, but I can't see a kid under 10 being "in charge" of the operation of equipment. It's one thing to have a young child on a tractor with it in first gear in a level, open field to give him a feel for it. It's another to watch him disappear down the road to the field to perform a major task that he is "in charge" of, or to even have him doing something that may seem vanilla while the adults are distracted by something else.
I've noticed that my dad's idea of being safe was a lot different that what some adults idea of safe is these days.

I, or any other normal adult, could teach a kid the basic functions of a tractor, for example, and I'm sure the child could understand and do ok in a controlled situation, but there are at least two issues.

One is strength. It actually takes some physical strength to push the brakes, clutches, work levers, etc on equipment. I remember seeing how easily my dad could mash that brake and clutch, but it took a little more effort for me. If a person struggles to work the equipment, they shouldn't be in charge.

Another is decision making skills and experience. As I stated before, any normal kid could learn the basic functions of a tractor, but there are often decisions that have to be made if things do not go according to plan. Younger kids don't have the experience to draw from.

I'm sure we all let our kids do things that could be dangerous, and if they make it to 30 with no issues, we can all brag about how they have been mowing hay since they were in diapers and how they had to stop and take a bottle and get burped before they finished the last couple of acres. Yep, we raised them right.

On the other hand, if I had a young child who had to leave this world at the hands of a piece of farm equipment, I'm sure I would reflect on what happened and my role in it. If I found myself to be negligent or ignorant in any way, that would not be good.

I'd also have to wonder if I'd rather be sitting by my child at age 30 and he is perhaps a little more ignorant in the ways of equipment than my neighbors kids who were driving equipment at a much younger age, or would having him in the ground before age 10 be worth anything that might be considered a positive from what he was doing on equipment at a delicate age.

And before anyone else mentions it, I realize that just because one doesn't drive farm equipment at a tender age doesn't mean he won't die before age 10, but I trust everyone understands what I'm saying.
and just how are they going to get that experience if they are never allowed to do it???? i would trust a 7 year old with hours of experience more then a 20 year old with no experience on a skid steer!!


Merriam-webster dictionary definition of Experience

knowledge gained by actually doing or living through something (copy and paste)


How? By waiting until they are a reasonable age to operate it.
It's amazing what people debate these days. Here we are trying to convince people that it's ok for children to operate heavy machinery.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby ez14. » Thu May 18, 2017 7:54 am

dun wrote:
ez14. wrote:Merriam-webster dictionary definition of Experience

knowledge gained by actually doing or living through something (copy and paste)

I prefer the real life definition.
Experience = The ability to recognize a mistake the second time you make it.
either way they got to do it to gain the experience!
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby muleskinner » Thu May 18, 2017 12:15 pm

I was very young when I started driving tractor. Probably about 5 or 6. I know I was pulled over by the State Police when I about 8.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby warped04 » Thu May 18, 2017 12:27 pm

Alan wrote:How old is old enough for a child to start operating farm equipment? For sake of argument let's say a skid steer......... and I know "every kid is different". So please don't play that card, just your average kid.


My 3 yr old can do things that my 5 yr old can't do (and is scared to do). So I imagine by the time my youngest is 5, she'll be doing the same things the 7yr old, so maybe it should change to "kid maturity level?"

And I abstained from the voting because I don't have the experience you guys do. But I would think the average mature 7yr old could begin the basic operations of some farm equipment. At 3 and 5 mine already want to drive the ATV alone, and both want to steer the tractor with me.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby sim.-ang.king » Thu May 18, 2017 8:31 pm

I won't say every kid is different, but it really depends on if they can reach the clutch or not. ;-) :cowboy:
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby shaz » Fri May 19, 2017 10:14 am

sim.-ang.king wrote:I won't say every kid is different, but it really depends on if they can reach the clutch or not. ;-) :cowboy:


You do it like I did when I was 6 - You jump out of the seat and land on the clutch and you can still see under the steering wheel.

Obviously I said 6 because that's when I started.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby herofan » Fri May 19, 2017 5:19 pm

One thing to remember on the work ethic portion of this is that not everyone's adult livelihood will depend on a skid steer and a tractor. Just because a kid isn't rolling out of bed at 4:00 every morning at age 5 and going to the fields doesn't mean he will be a failure in life. There are other things.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby Brute 23 » Fri May 19, 2017 7:43 pm

herofan wrote:One thing to remember on the work ethic portion of this is that not everyone's adult livelihood will depend on a skid steer and a tractor. Just because a kid isn't rolling out of bed at 4:00 every morning at age 5 and going to the fields doesn't mean he will be a failure in life. There are other things.


I doubt any one here will ever say you should force a kid on a piece of equipment.

To this day my brother does not drive tractors, manual shift vehicles, motorcycles, or any thing of that nature. His equipment skills end with a lawn mower and weed eater... But he knows how to work... and he knows how to be useful. My parents never forced him to operate any thing he didn't want to but they did force him to get out there and do some thing. He puts his suite on and walks in to do asset management mon-fri. He can walk out and dig post holes with the best of them on the weekend.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby ez14. » Fri May 19, 2017 10:00 pm

Brute 23 wrote:
herofan wrote:One thing to remember on the work ethic portion of this is that not everyone's adult livelihood will depend on a skid steer and a tractor. Just because a kid isn't rolling out of bed at 4:00 every morning at age 5 and going to the fields doesn't mean he will be a failure in life. There are other things.


I doubt any one here will ever say you should force a kid on a piece of equipment.

To this day my brother does not drive tractors, manual shift vehicles, motorcycles, or any thing of that nature. His equipment skills end with a lawn mower and weed eater... But he knows how to work... and he knows how to be useful. My parents never forced him to operate any thing he didn't want to but they did force him to get out there and do some thing. He puts his suite on and walks in to do asset management mon-fri. He can walk out and dig post holes with the best of them on the weekend.
a good work ethic carries over to anything! Even if he is going to sit at a computer all day to make a living
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby boondocks » Fri May 19, 2017 11:51 pm

herofan wrote:[]
It's amazing what people debate these days. Here we are trying to convince people that it's ok for children to operate heavy machinery.


I think (hope) some people just like to argue and we're not really back in the 1400's.

"Light" machinery ain't much better in the hands of wee ones.I almost did myself in a few times as a kid (on a tippy 3 wheeler) and my brother (age 8 or 9) hit a tree on a snowmobile. Lots of kids get hurt on ATVs every year. The age people let kids on them is ridiculous. (Google Britney Spear's niece).

To the larger point re farm equipment: if a person can't make a living (in whatever (literal or figurative) field) without forcing their children into dangerous working conditions, maybe it's time to consider another line of work. (I'm not talking about gradually introducing them to things. I'm talking about giving them primary responsibility for an adult's workload, using machinery sized and calibrated for adult use. Kinematics are a real thing).

Country folk often rail about irresponsible urban parents who don't adequately supervise and oversee their kids. We need to make sure we're not giving ourselves a "pass."
Are we really wanting to head back to the days where farm kids were little better than indentured servants (at best)? When families were big so that you could afford to lose a few and still bring in the harvest?
Work them, sure. Make 'em sweat, learn things over time, fine.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat May 20, 2017 6:58 am

Boondocks, I didn't force my kids into anything. They wanted to help - be in the way. I'd tell them your to small or you don't know how to operate this or that. I was proven wrong every time. And yes kids shouldn't operate equipment and there's a lot of grown ups that have no business operating a piece of equipment either.
Like it or not folks, all kids aren't created equal.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby M-5 » Sat May 20, 2017 7:17 am

I've already started my 10mth old grand daughter steering my Kubota , it's never to early to learn
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby Brute 23 » Sat May 20, 2017 7:33 am

Just watched a video of a 4yr old who races motorcycles. Fastest one goes 45mph.
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Re: Kids and farm equipment, how old? -poll

Postby herofan » Sat May 20, 2017 11:09 am

boondocks wrote:
herofan wrote:[]
It's amazing what people debate these days. Here we are trying to convince people that it's ok for children to operate heavy machinery.


I think (hope) some people just like to argue and we're not really back in the 1400's.

"Light" machinery ain't much better in the hands of wee ones.I almost did myself in a few times as a kid (on a tippy 3 wheeler) and my brother (age 8 or 9) hit a tree on a snowmobile. Lots of kids get hurt on ATVs every year. The age people let kids on them is ridiculous. (Google Britney Spear's niece).

To the larger point re farm equipment: if a person can't make a living (in whatever (literal or figurative) field) without forcing their children into dangerous working conditions, maybe it's time to consider another line of work. (I'm not talking about gradually introducing them to things. I'm talking about giving them primary responsibility for an adult's workload, using machinery sized and calibrated for adult use. Kinematics are a real thing


I agree. I never felt like having my kids on machinery at a young age would make a difference in my livelihood. If the line is that close to make or break, I think another line of work is in order.

Perhaps nobody forced their kids to operate equipment at a you d age, but I'm sure there was an encouraging atmosphere even if they didn't realize it.

It's somewhat like sports parents who claim they didn't push their kids into playing sports. They might not have held a gun to their head, but I know some dads who would have had a heart attack if their kids weren't interested in Sports.
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