[TR] Learning to drive standard

Jim Wallace grandfatherjim at gmail.com
Mon Mar 29 06:06:46 MST 2010

I started driving when I was about 8 - on the family tractor. I thought my
age must have been exaggerated downward in my mind over the years but then
some old home movies surfaced and there I was.
After a few years of lighter duty work I was assigned to pulling the hay
wagon as it was loaded up. This is a great way to learn how to work a clutch
- with a tremendously underpowered tractor (a Ferguson with what to those
who read this forum is a strangely familiar looking engine) pulling way too
big a load. Operating the throttle by hand while letting out the clutch with
the left foot, and having to do it smoothly so the guys on the wagon didn't
end up off the wagon, so to speak, was good preparation for eventually
learning to drive a car with a manual transmission. Once I got behind the
wheel everything fell into place.
Sadly, no sooner had I mastered pulling the wagon than I grew big enough to
be sent back to load the wagon, where the bigger boys all said that everyone
really should be able to lift bales their own weight. When you're about 11
and weigh 80 pounds it becomes quite a challenge!
So there's my two cents. Get the young lady started on a tractor. In a

PS Tim - in your experience were the farm kids who went to driving school
any more adept? Just curious.

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