Aye-up, We often hear about how we need to attract good young people into our industry and I think we might be missing a trick. If any young driver likes the look of driving farm machines they can take the tractor test aged 16 and, in theory, they’re away. The trouble is, that licence has many restrictions and really only the smallest tractors and trailers can be driven on the road. At 17 the driver can suddenly drive bigger kit on the road, but machines not classed as tractors such as combines, sp sprayers and the big units like beet harvesters and sp spreaders are not to be driven on the roads until the driver is 21. I think loading shovels and telehandlers come under the same rules too, certainly some of the bigger units. Meanwhile, if a young driver is itching to get out and about in something impressive, he or she can take a commercial vehicle driving test at, I think, 18 years of age and then quickly progress up to driving 44t artics at 19 years. I may have that slightly wrong, but it’s something like that. I’m bothered that during those impressionable 2-3 years young drivers are being attracted to the haulage business and may stay there, depriving our industry of the future operators we need. There must have been a push from haulage associations to get young drivers interested in the job and to get them earning some good money at a very young age. When I took my HGV test 26 years ago there was some sort of scheme starting up and I was told recently that the construction industry has something similar too. I know I have missed out on two very good lads over the years because they can’t drive my spreaders on the road until they are 21 so they went and found work elsewhere. What can be done to get a scheme up and running to get young drivers going? Maybe an intensive weeks training and a test at 18? Proof that young operators have been involved in farming all their lives so are already familiar with the kit? I realise it will take a change in the law, but as time goes by kit gets bigger, farms get more spread out and contractors work further afield. We are getting left behind. Again. Cheers, Pete.