Young and seasonal drivers
Many farm businesses recruit seasonal harvest workers who are under the age of 25. When recruiting young workers who will be responsible for driving tractors and other farm vehicles, it is important to be aware of age restrictions and any limitations on your insurance.
The first thing to bear in mind with all employees is to ensure you have checked that they have the correct licences and whether they have any points of convictions. Your insurer needs to be made aware of these.
It is not sufficient for them to provide you with photocopies of their licence, instead you should use the DVLA’s driving licence sharing services (www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence). Your employee can use this service to provide you with a code which you can input to se their most up-to-date licence information, which should be saved for your records. You should also make sure your insurance broker is informed of any claims or convictions.
Under your Agricultural Vehicle section, the cover is for ‘Any Authorised Licensed Driver’. Therefore, drivers who are 17 and over with the correct licences are covered when driving tractors.
However, not all policies cover young drivers under the age of 25 when driving commercial vehicles. If you have ‘restricted driving’ (any driver 25 years or over) you must let us know of any drivers under the age of 25 who will be driving commercial vehicles. If you have ‘Any Driver Cover’, young drivers are covered already.
Make sure you let your broker know of any young drivers on your team and they can add them onto your policy.
Large and tracked machinery
Certain large pieces of machinery, such as the combine, also have restrictions. To drive a combine you need a full licence and have to be over 21 years of age. To drive tracked tractors which are steered by their tracks, such as a Cat Challenger, you must hold a H category license and be over 21 years of age. Tracked tractors which are steered by the articulation of the body come under the B category (tractors with a minimum age limit of 17).
Other things to bear in mind
Whilst it is not necessary to name every driver on your policy, you must let us know if they have any claims or convictions.
Regardless of age, we recommend that you conduct a simple driver competency assessment on all seasonal staff. Make sure this is recorded and signed by the employee, as HSE operate an ‘if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen’ approach.