How to Drive a Farm Tractor

Two Parts:Starting the engineDriving the tractor

Tractor driving is different from the standard family transportation. You'll be handling a vehicle that is large, powerful and potentially dangerous if not handled properly. This article will provide some assistance in knowing how to drive a tractor with care.

Part 1
Starting the engine

  1. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 1
    Get in the tractor. Sit in the seat. If recommended, put on the seat belt.
  2. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 2
    Put the key in the ignition.
  3. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 3
    Depress the clutch with your left foot, until it hits the floorboard.
    • If it is a cold start, inject ether into the fuel lines.
    • If the tractor has glow plugs, turn the key to warm them, for an easier start up.
  4. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 4
    With the clutch depressed with your foot, push in on the key and turn it until the tractor begins to turn over. Hold for approximately 8 seconds before letting go and trying again.
  5. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 5
    Repeat until the tractor turns over. If the tractor continues failure to start, it is recommended to spray starting fluid into the lines.

Part 2
Driving the tractor

  1. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 6
    Move the shifter. Now that your tractor has started, depending on the year, it may have a steering wheel hand clutch, which will be located on the right of your steering wheel. This is usually found in John Deere 4020's. Locate your shifter, and most tractors follow the same procedure for taking off.
    • If it has a hand foot clutch, the shifter will be in between your legs, near the foot petals.
    • If your shifter is on your right hand side, and is located on the side of the throttle, it is most likely a power shifter.
  2. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 7
    Release the clutch. The tractor has labeled gears between first to the last one, including reverse. Push in the clutch, which is your left foot and push the shifter into first gear. Throttle the tractor up slowly to increase the RPMs. Slowly release your foot off the clutch and you will feel the tractor begin to move. throttle the RPMs again to increase speed, and power.
  3. Image titled Drive a Farm Tractor Step 8
    Shift the gears. Now that your tractor is moving, in order to shift gears, locate second, or the next gear you need. Press in the clutch and shift the gear. Slowly release the clutch and you will feel a small kick or since of power. The gear has locked and you are now in that desired gear.
  4. 4
    Learn to stop. Now you have learned to shift a tractor, and take off, you need know how to stop. To stop the tractor, depress the clutch, find neutral in the gear shifter. Let off the clutch, and depress the break with your right foot. The tractor should come to a halt, and you have successfully drove a tractor. Throttle the RPM down to the lowest setting, and this is the tractor's idle.


  • Before getting in the tractor, you should do a mandatory walk around. Check the oil, hydraulic fluids, tires, radiator, air filter, ROPS and "roll cages".

Article Info

Categories: Farming | Driving Techniques