Last Thursday and Friday my class, Year 12 Primary Industries completed a Quad and Side by Side course at Trenyr TAFE at Junction Hill.
We travelled to Trenyr TAFE to get qualified to drive Quads and Side by Sides as part of our Primary Industries Course. During the two-day course we had to complete multiple theory and practical Tests. Mark, our TAFE teacher showed us videos about Quad safety and how to handle Quads correctly. We then completed our knowledge tests which were all about work, health and safety when operating Side by Sides and Quads. We all had to do pre-start checks on all vehicles before we were allowed to even drive them. Once we had checked the vehicles, we were given our PPE (helmets, gloves, goggles, and hi viz vest) and suited up to get on the vehicles and have some fun while learning. We first got taught how to load and unload the vehicles on and off a trailer and also on the back of the ute. We also had to show that we could strap the vehicles down safely for travel. Once we got on the vehicles an obstacle course was set up. We had to go in and out cones and eventually we were shown how to correctly and safely turn the vehicle with some speed.
Once we got the hang of the course a few obstacles got put in that we could come across in the bush or when using the vehicles on the farm. We had to drive over logs, rocks, and show that we could drive in steep terrain and across hills. We all got to swap around in the vehicles so we could drive each vehicle and show that we have the ability to operate each vehicle.
The next day we had to complete our theory work for the Side by Sides and then got to get back on the vehicles. Once we got suited up again in our PPE we started the practical test off by reversing though cones like we did the day before. Then Mark had to test our braking and reaction times while travelling at speed. He got us to drive fast at him and he would randomly give you instructions whether to brake or what direction he wanted you to turn, sometimes he would do two instructions during the same time. This showed us how to deal with obstacles that you need to react to straight away in real life when operating them at work or at your farm. We also had to show that we could do hill starts without rolling back on a steep hill. After we got the hang of that we then had to back onto a trailer with the Side by Side and then reverse though cones with the trailer on and then back into the shed to put away. This was a great practical as some of us had never backed a trailer or reversed though cones with one on.
Hands down this was one of the best times during my school time and I think I speak for all of the other students as well when I say that. It was such an amazing experience and was very helpful as both vehicles can be very dangerous, so it was great to learn about the safety and how to operate them correctly. I recommend anyone doing Primary Industries or wanted to once they become seniors, if you get the chance to do this course, to do it. At the end of the course you will receive a licence for both vehicles which may help you getting a job in agriculture or it may help you if you have these vehicles at home. Even if you don’t want a job in agriculture or have these vehicle it was so much fun and interesting to learn about. I promise you will have the best time of your life. The best excursion ever.
Shannon Moran (Yr 12 Primary Industries Student)