UNL Tractor Safety Courses Offered Across Nebraska

Key is preventing accidents, such as tractor and ATV rollovers.

Published on: May 11, 2011

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at seven locations in Nebraska during May and June.

Classes consist of two full days of instruction plus homework assignments. Classes are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location's start date to your local Extension Office. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks. For more information, contact Sharry Nielsen at 308-832-0645, or email her at snielsen1@unl.edu.

Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from working on a farm other than their parents' farm. Course completion grants an exemption to the law, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with mechanized equipment. The course also is available for the safety training if room permits.

The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles, says Sharry Nielsen, UNL Extension educator.

Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work.

"Instilling an attitude of 'safety first' is a primary goal of the course," Nielsen says. "Youth have the chance to learn respect for agricultural jobs and the tools involved."

The dates and locations are:

May 26-27, Fairgrounds, Kearney

June 2-3, West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte

June 6-7, Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff

June 9-10, Evangelical Free Church, Ainsworth

June 13-14, Fairgrounds, Humboldt

June 16-17, Tractor Test Lab, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln

June 21-22, Haskall Ag Lab, Concord

The first day of class will consist of intensive classroom instruction with hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test that must be completed satisfactorily before the student may continue driving tests the next day. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Homework will be assigned to turn in the next day.

The second day will consist of testing, driving and operating machinery. Students must demonstrate competence in hitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course as well as hitching PTO and hydraulic systems.