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Teaching the receptionist how to drive a BIG tractor

Tags :  educational  | 

Shelby: Oh man, that picks up. I'm crazy.
Neil: Oh, we're in the middle of the road.
Shelby: Wrong way. Wrong way.
Neil: Neil from Messick's here to do a very special video for you today, one that I have been looking forward to making for so long. I'm out today with Shelby. Shelby, tell me what you do here for Messick's.
Shelby: I do a little bit of everything. I am a receptionist during the day. I answer all the telephone calls that come in and transfer them to where they need to go. I also am in charge of the evening cleaning staff.
Neil: I'd say the best way that I think of you is as our store mom, right?
Shelby: Yes.
Neil: Everybody needs a mom. We've all got a work mom. Our work mom is Shelby.
Shelby: Oh yes. Don't get away with anything around me.
Neil: That's just kind of wonderful. Despite the fact that you worked for us for a long time--
Shelby: 10-plus years.
Neil: 10-plus years. Your knowledge of equipment is how large?
Shelby: It's very small. I have learned to drive a forklift here. I have learned to drive a zero-turn mower because I did mow grass at one point too. Other than that, that's pretty much all I have.
Neil: That's it.
Shelby: Snowblower I can do, regular lawnmower, but nothing like this.
Neil: You've agreed today to let me stretch you a little bit.
Shelby: I have.
Neil: Today we're going to go out and we're going to teach Shelby how to drive a large tractor. Now this is a small end of our large tractors, but nonetheless, a T7270 is a large machine. It's going to cost more than most of our houses do and has some really advanced transmission features in it that we're going to teach you all about today.
Shelby: Yay.
Neil: Come along with us we're going to have a good time. Climbing up to the cab with Shelby. Okay. Climb on up, couple of steps up the ladder.
Shelby: Yes, a couple of steps.
Neil: You're going to take the driver's seat. Sitting up here in the tractor. Rides a little high.
Shelby: Yes, I like that. 
Neil: On your left-hand side over there, I have the key in the ignition so if you just reach down there and crank it forward. [engine starts] There we go. We're going to do two different things here. We're going to drive the tractor, assuming that we're plowing dirt or planting, we're going to pretend that we're driving a baler and then we're going to road the tractor, okay? When you look over there on the screen, this tells you how fast the tractor wants to go and we can set that.
On this big stick right here, there's a wheel and if you roll that wheel front and back with your thumb, you're going to see that two, changes to 2.2, 2.3.
Shelby: Oh, right here?
Neil: Yes. We're going to drive the tractor 2.3 miles an hour, okay? In order to do that, you're going to take that big stick and you're just going to push it forward a little bit. Then the tractor's going to start to drive--
Shelby: Parking brake is on.
Neil: Oh.
Shelby: Just push it forward.
Neil: Yes, push it forward. Right now you're not going to go any faster than 2.3 miles an hour.
Shelby: That's pretty slow.
Neil: You want to go faster?
Shelby: Maybe on a stretch I'll go faster.
Neil: Okay so really easy. Now when you want to stop, you just pull that thing back again and pull the stick back towards you. Comes to a stop. All right, now you can also drive it with the orange pedal down there on the floor. That's going to drive more like a car does, right? If you step on the pedal there, I need to get you a short-person pedal extensions.
Shelby: I know. What's up with that? Oh, now it's-- Oh yes.
Neil: You're still never going to go faster than 2.3 miles an hour.
Shelby: Oh, but I'm not even down yet.
Neil: The harder you press that pedal down, the faster you're going to go. Okay? We're starting slow.
Shelby: I need pedal extensions. I think I like the lever better.
Neil: Okay, so we figured out this is slow driving, right? Now we're going to try to pretend like, okay, we've got a round baler behind us. Go ahead and take your foot off the pedal and stop. Now if you've got a round baler behind you, you have to have the engine RPMs up a lot higher so that the PTO is running and making the baler operate. Your throttle is that orange lever right back there, yes. If you push that about two-thirds of the way front, you're going to hear the engine start getting a lot louder.
Because we're going to run the PTO so keep going. All right. Now to run our baler, we want to go faster than two miles an hour so on the stick over here, you're going to press the turtle or the rabbit rather and you're going to jump up to this F2 range, which is now eight miles an hour. Okay. Now when you press the stick slowly forward.
Shelby: It's like learning to drive a stick shift.
Neil: A little bit but you see we haven't ever touched a clutch or anything like that, right?
Shelby: I just keep going straight?
Neil: Yes.
Shelby: Then I don't have to hold it there.
Neil: You don't have to hold it. It's just going to stay at eight miles an hour and now we're driving with our round baler behind us. The cool thing here is that you can set the engine RPMs for your round baler and it doesn't impact your ground speed at all. If you want to go eight, you just tell the computer, "Hey, I want to go eight," and it's going to go eight.
Shelby: If I want to slow down?
Neil: Pull it back.
Shelby: Pull it back.
Neil: Or if you have an oh crap moment, you stomp on the brakes.
Shelby: Which is these down here?
Neil: Yes. You're good at this.
Shelby: I am. I don't know. Should I keep pushing it forward? I'm going to have to slow down.
Neil: Where are we at now? We're at 6.1 of our eight. Yes, so you'd have to hold it forward just a little bit more to go faster.
Shelby: Okay. We're going to go around the corner.
Neil: Yes, just go left.
Shelby: We'll stay. Oh, I didn't stop. Am I going to get in trouble? 
Neil: Running the stop sign.
Shelby: I ran the stop sign. Now we can go faster.
Neil: See, usually what you're going to do is you're going to know the ground speed for what you're doing. If you're out riding your hay bale or whatever, you know my baler works great at eight miles an hour, you're just going to spin it to eight and then off you go and then stop. It'll stop at eight. Now this tractor will go 32 miles an hour. Okay. That's what we're going to do next. Go ahead and we're going to make it drive like a car rather than driving in field mode, right? Go ahead and step on the brakes once. It will stop.
Okay, stopped a little quickly there. We're going to pull that back just so that it stops the tractor. We're going to slow this down. Drop the throttle back down so we're driving like a car. If we push the rabbit over there to go up into the high range, we can now go 32 miles an hour. Which feels fast in this thing. Go ahead and drive like an accelerator with the pedal on the floor.
Shelby: With the pedal on the floor. This one?
Neil: That's your brakes.
Shelby: The brakes.
Neil: The orange one.
Shelby: The orange one, sorry.
Neil: Now stomp on at once. There we go. That's 18 miles an hour. Doesn't that feel quick?
Shelby: Yes. It doesn't feel like a car, it feels faster.
Neil: When you're driving something this big and you're this high and it kind of wobbles around a little bit while you're going.
Shelby: Kind of wobbles my foot around.
Neil: Yes. Speed takes on a new meaning. This is like some kind of driver's head obstacle course.
Shelby: Should I hit Mark?
Neil: Swerve towards him a little bit. Make him jump out of the way.
Shelby: I'm really bouncy. Is it supposed to be that way?
Neil: This has a suspended axle. Your seat could probably be adjusted for you. The seat makes a huge difference in how bouncy the tractor is. It's set for me right now. Now you go up here to the stop sign and then just step on the brake.
Shelby: Oh, I was just slowing down ahead of time.
Neil: You go on the road?
Shelby: I guess. Sure, why not?
Neil: Let's go on the road. Okay. We got to put the four ways on which are right here, all right? Then just go out here and pull on the road. We'll just go drive up to the industrial park.
Shelby: It's smooth, it's steers really smooth. I think the bouncing and stuff is more from me. My foot not being able to--
Neil: Just stop here and then use the stick instead of the pedal. Yes. No cars are coming.
Shelby: It just drives so I have to keep it pressed forward?
Neil: Yes, so right now you're about a third, so just keep pressing forward.
Shelby: Oh man, that picks up. I'm going to hit the-- I'm crazy.
Neil: We're in the middle of the road.
Shelby: Yes, we're just going to stop there.
Neil: That's 29, 30.
Shelby: You wanted me to go 32. Now we're still at 29.
Neil: There you go. Yes, little bit of body roll there.
Shelby: If I want to slow down I just pull back.
Neil: Just pull back a little bit.
Shelby: Oh, there are some cars coming and I got a car behind me so I don't want to go too crazy.
Neil: Gives you a little perspective of the people who are driving tractors and throwing the road and you got traffic in front and the back. That'd be it. Then I would go, it just hit that down to go down into the lower range. Now when you step down like that, you see how it calms down a lot? Instead of that travel of the pedal or travel the stick being zero to 32, it's now zero to eight. That's a lot more manageable. If you just pull up here and then we'll back up.
Shelby: Okay, let's go.
Neil: Reverse is one of two things. It's either this orange button right there on the stick. Just hit that right there and then we'll back up.
Shelby: Cool.
Neil: Or you can use the reverser up here on the left-hand side.
Shelby: Oh, it's the wrong way. Wrong way.
Neil: Is it though? You did exactly right. You're like, "Oh, crap," and you just smashed the brake. Right?
Shelby: You bet. Then I pushed it the opposite way. Then I want to go forward again.
Neil: Yes. Push the front. Well, that was your speed change, so now, you're going three, which might be okay. If you hit the front arrow.
Shelby: This one?
Neil: Yes, big orange arrow. Yes, there you go. Now we're going forward.
Shelby: Okay, and then push forward. You're very trusting.
Neil: Too trusting?
Shelby: Yes, with a big piece of equipment
Neil: It's not that bad, is it?
Shelby: No. I thought you were going to pick something a lot, so I want to go--
Neil: If you want to go faster, right now, you're in that F1, that low speed, so hit the turtle, and you'll jump up to 8 miles an hour.
Shelby: Turtle or rabbit?
Neil: I'm sorry, rabbit.
Shelby: Oh, but nothing coming. Good.
Neil: Now, hit it again and we'll jump up to 32. It'll jump because right now you're telling it you want to go as fast as possible. Go ahead and hit it, it's going to take off.
Shelby: Then pull back to slow down since we're coming to corners, so like a windy road. I can't imagine, this is smooth. Driving in on a field would be a lot bumpier.
Neil: Yes. You do a lot of setups. You drop your tire pressures, you can change the-- Your seat is not bouncing at all, so your seat is overinflated right now. Usually, you have a big airbag in the bottom of it. There's a lot of things that you do to help it ride better. You do get knocked around in these.
Shelby: It's like driving a pickup truck, an older pickup truck.
Neil: Yes.
Shelby: Just lay behind me, so I don't want to-- Are they not going to go around?
Neil: Usually, you're driving with the stick right now, but oftentimes, you'd use that floor pedal too because that just makes it behave more like a car.
Shelby: I think the stick is easier. Well, but then I don't drive them all the time either.
Neil: No, it is easier. The other thing too, you're bouncing around inside the tractor, if your foot is on that pedal and you're bouncing, it's hard to keep your foot smooth, right?
Shelby: Right.
Neil: If you drive with a stick there, it doesn't matter if we're jostling around or whatever, tractor is not going to speed up and slow down one more time.
Shelby: They're just going to let me take my time. That probably--
Neil: They don't have a choice because you take up the whole road. We do have turn signals right down here.
Shelby: Okay, which I'm going to want to put on.
Neil: Sure, yes, because we got to pull over into the middle lane here and just go ahead and slow down here. We'll get up to the driveway.
Shelby: Can people stay away from me?
Neil: They're not leaving you any room there. That's all right.
Shelby: We'll go around the building.
Neil: We'll just go around the whole building. [laughter]
Shelby: That's fine by me. Oh, so I'm still up in the--
Neil: Yes, you're in the high speed now. If you wanted to dial that back, that thumb wheel that's right there, you could just spin--
Shelby: This one?
Neil: Yes, right here. Just spin that thumb wheel down. Then you can take it down to something a little bit more manageable.
Shelby: We need to stop here. Sorry. I'm just going through.
Neil: There's one thing here I think is pretty cool. Go speed up here, headed towards the tractor-trailer, and then get up to 10 or 12 miles an hour and then put it in reverse.
Shelby: Put it in reverse?
Neil: Yes, start driving fast. That's good. Then just tap reverse now.
Shelby: Which one was reverse?
Neil: The down arrow.
Shelby: This one?
Neil: Yes. Now see how it slowly comes to a stop.
Shelby: Oh, and then it'll--
Neil: Then it automatically goes back and right back. Now, you're going 7 miles an hour in reverse. You can actually even slow that down if you wanted to go less. Now, it goes 3 miles an hour in reverse. Then when you go back to forward again, it jumps right back to 25 miles an hour again. You have separate speed settings for reverse than you do for forward because obviously, you probably don't want to go 25 miles an hour backwards.
Shelby: Yes, no. That wouldn't be a good thing, but I'm sure there's farmers that do go that fast. Okay, slow down. Wait, I don't want to go that slow.
Neil: You didn't even need me to tell you what to do anymore.
Shelby: No, I was paying attention. I don't want to look like a fool.
Shelby: It's not hard. You were right as always.
Neil: Imagine that. You think most of the time you're driving this thing at these, really slow, pulling a planter, pulling a sprayer, you're not trucking along at 30 miles an hour. Although you want a tractor that goes faster but you go up and down the road specifically because you're dealing with traffic and that kind of thing. Most of your precision is at these low speeds.
Shelby: Back to slow down.
Neil: Back or brakes, yes.
Shelby: I do better with the stick, I'm telling you.
Neil: That's it.
Shelby: That's it? That was easy. I hope you liked being bucked around.
Neil: No, it wasn't that bad.
Shelby: Then just turn it off.
Neil: Yes, turn the key off. What'd you think?
Shelby: It was easy.
Neil: Easy?
Shelby: Compared to what I thought it was going to be, yes. I thought it was easy. I prefer driving with the stick versus the pedals.
Neil: There are a lot of different transmissions in big tractors like this. This is interesting because some people will avoid these because it is the latest technology per se. There's some computers and stuff involved, but gosh, how easy is it?
Shelby: It was easy.
Neil: Right.
Shelby: I was just driving, I wasn't in the field doing stuff.
Neil: I hope you enjoyed that. Cool to be able to get out, share something a little bit different. Also, just a pleasure to work with such awesome people. I'm sure many of you can relate to having a store mom. If you're shopping for a piece of equipment and we can help, or if you have parts or service needs for a machine you've already got, give us a call at Messick's. Shelby will pick up the phone. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com

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