I love my live on the farm! But that doesn’t mean I am good at everything that I sometimes need to do as a farmer…
I have had multiple experiences with tractors and maybe it is safe to say I should stay away from tractors, or everybody around me should stay away from me if I’m trying to drive one!
Bastiaan in front of a tractor
When I was 16 years old I wanted to get my tractor drivers license.
In the Netherlands you just can’t go hop in a tractor and drive around your farm or on the road. If you get in an accident, get pulled over or do something stupid you are in serious trouble, with the police, mom and dad or the insurance company. And since I liked to do it all (not the get in trouble part)… I wanted to learn how to drive a tractor and get my license.
Across the road from us our neighbor farmer raised hogs and owned and operated crop fields where they grew asparagus. I used to work there every weekend, after school and on my vacation days and he had a tractor. I asked him if he could teach me how to drive the tractor after and during work and that way I could practice for the exam. After weeks and weeks of practice, with a very patient neighbor (i DID NOT have a natural talent) the day had come to do my written exam and driving test. The AG teacher from my high school came to my house and we checked the tractor and went inside to do the written exam.
I had studied really hard and had my mom and dad gave me “fake” tests to see if I could pass. I would pass every time! We were in our own kitchen and the teacher gave me the papers. I ended up doing the test 3 times!?! I was so nervous I couldn’t get the answers straight although I knew what they were! Eventually my mom vowed for me that I really studied hard and the teacher should let me do the driving test and he would see I could really drive a tractor… Maybe the cookies that my mom gave him helped too.
The teacher put some pillions out in the field and I was supposed to drive the tractor with trailer in a big S, drive straight, make turns, park the tractor and back up with the trailer and park in a designated area.
Well…. I did it…
The tractor were we feed all our
But I hit my hand on the door handle and I didn’t go fast and it didn’t go smooth. When I got off the tractor I was very flustered, adrenaline rushing true my body, still incredibly nervous, I went over to my teacher. He just looked at me, looked down and looked at me again. I had no idea what I needed to do next but he looked in SHOCK!
While I was standing there in front of him, awaiting my verdict, thinking about all the things I did wrong ( I didn’t run nobody over so it couldn’t be that bad???) I decided that if I didn’t get my drivers license this time I surely would get it next time because I would have better control of my nerves!
After 3 grueling minutes (I know it doesn’t sound long, but I can tell you it was!) he said that I had passed!
Wash my face? Why would I was my face after driving a tractor???
Well, when I went inside and looked in the mirror, while my mom and the teacher were catching up, I saw that apparently i busted my hand open when I hit the door handle and because I was so nervous and sweating I tried to wipe away the sweat. I wiped the sweat away all right… but all over my face was blood from my hand!
I looked like I was killed, slaughtered and left for dead! No wonder my teacher looked so shocked!
Window of opportunity....
4 hours ago