Jacks Farm Machinery, Whakatane, a forward-thinking machinery dealer in the Bay of Plenty region known for horticulture, decided to act.
This supplier of Polaris quads and LUVs was already in the business of certified modifying Ranger and Ace models to allow them to work under pergolas in kiwifruit orchards; this also allowed orchardists to switch from quads to LUVs.
A Jacks customer asked the company for help in training workers on the use of machines, leading to Jacks running NZQA-accredited on the safe operation of a LUVs.
The two-day course is run by Andrew Simpson of Carnz Ltd, a registered MITO assessor who is also a Primary ITO AgExcel trainer and a NZTA-registered driving instructor and testing officer.
His instruction includes how the vehicle’s drive system works, basic driving skills, towing on undulating terrain and safely carrying loads.
The trainees earn credits as they finish modules, leading to the NZQA unit standard for LUV training. Theory and practical training are given on the first day, then more training and assessment on day 2.
People wanting to extend their skills can complete unit standards 24558, 24560 and 24562 -- operation on undulating terrain, operation with trailed implements, and operating with mounted implements or loads, respectively. Trainees must present a log that lists previous experience before they can be assessed.
“The LUV course was a great investment for the staff involved and our wider business, as trained operators pass useful information to their colleagues,” says Roy Anderson of kiwifruit specialist Seeka.
“The trainer delivered his message in an interesting manner that kept people involved. He focused on understanding the machines, their abilities and importantly how to do a job plan beforehand to reduce the risk of getting into tricky situations in the first place. We will definitely do more staff training.”
Stephen Kenna, an orchardist at Katikati, said the course allowed trainees to discuss different events, major and minor, that had occurred on their properties.
“And what they could have done differently to avoid the situation. It has changed the way we operate LUVs on our orchard and we are now safer and more informed.”