ALSO on his fourth attempt to get to the Tractor Driver of the Year final is this years youngest finalist, 26-year-old Tom Reeve of Riding Farm, Walsham Le Willows, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
"Ive only ever got as far as the Royal Show rounds," explains Mr Reeve of his efforts to join the elite and hold the coveted Tractor Driver of the Year title.
"Its a great feeling to be told youve got this far and Id like to be able to relax and enjoy it, but the pressures on."
Main responsibilities when working with his father Hugh include combining, ploughing and spraying – though as yet, Hugh holds the reigns of the drill.
"Dad still likes to do the drilling – something to do with straight lines," says Tom, who hopes winning the title might open the door to responsibility for drilling the farms 202ha (500ac) of arable land.
As for tractor choice, the farms mixed fleet includes Deere, Ford and Case models, and as such, Tom is adept at changing between the makes.
Asked what makes a top tractor driver, Mr Reeve replies: "Thinking time is essential. Its no good rushing and tearing about with powerful equipment. Youve got to approach your tasks steadily and get the job right first time. And by thinking about what could go wrong, you should be able to deal with the problems as they arise and work your way around them."n
JD6900 is one of three tractor makes Tom Reeve has access to on the familys 202ha Suffolk arable farm.