If you’re a mechanically-minded tractor driver, the Maintenance and Repair of Agricultural Machinery course at Warwickshire College might be a good thing to do this winter.

It runs during the farming quiet season from November to February and is the only course of its type in the country. It’s designed for farmer fixers, rather than dealer mechanics, so it’s all about improvising with hammers, spanners and welders to repair breakdowns.

That means modifying, adapting and fabricating metal and easy-to-get-hold-of parts instead of relying on high-tech dealer-type kit that you might not have access to in the farm workshop.

Broad topics include how to diagnose problems, complete repairs and major overhauls on all sorts of kit including engines, clutches, gearboxes and hydraulic systems.

Combines, mower harrows and more complex grassland machinery are also covered, but students are encouraged to shape the course to suit them by taking their own tractor or other kit to the workshop. There’s also a fabrication project, which has seen kit like cultivators, trailers and bale grabs designed and built in the past.

To join the course you’ll need a decent understanding of farm machinery and how to operate it in the field, including implement settings and maintenance.

What’s covered on the course?

  • Diesel engine diagnosis and overhaul
  • Cooling systems
  • Replacement of transmission systems and axle components
  • Clutch replacement and repair
  • Hydraulic systems diagnosis and component replacement
  • Electrical systems
  • Repair procedures of general machinery components – bearings, hydraulic rams, universal joints, etc.
  • Combine service and repairs
  • Knotters
  • Using arc and MIG welders and oxy-acetylene gas

Want to get involved?

Where Moreton Morrell Centre, Moreton Morrell, Warwick, Warwickshire CV35 9BL

When Starts 4 November 2013 for 12 weeks

Minimum qualifications Be proficient and have experience of a wide range of farming machinery and field operations. Minimum age is 19 years.

Cost £2,850

For more information email: pbabbedge@warkscol.ac.uk