In my current role for Valtra, I find myself travelling a lot. Travelling is great but on business trips one very quickly comes to miss certain home comforts. While I am away, I find myself wishing I was back at home in my living room, on my own couch, listening to my own music. Not because my couch is the best in the world or because I have the best taste in music and the best sound system, but because it’s home. And when I’m at home, I can relax. My fridge has my food in it which I can take out whenever I want, my music is familiar and my sofa has over time shaped itself to my… well, as the French say, “derrière.”
Before I came to Valtra, I worked for 9 years as a tractor driver and later also as assistant manager for an agricultural contractor. Back then, my tractor cabin was my living room. My tractor would clock over 2,000hrs each year: roughly 1,000hrs during 6 months of winter road maintenance and another 1,000hrs during the silly summer season of drilling, mowing and spraying. If you’ve ever tried watching back to back all three extended editions of Lord of the Rings, you’ll know how important having a comfy seat is. That’s kind of how I felt the evening I finished off a straight 39hrs of mowing.
I was lucky enough to have an employer who valued the amount of work I put in and made sure I had a comfortable cabin no matter the colour of the tractor. For me, it wasn’t just about having a good quality seat. My boots got left on the doormat as I climbed in, and anyone who tried to climb in with dirty gloves on got shouted at. Tools were kept in the tool box on the outside of the tractor, lunch was stored safely in the fridge. Snow removal is extremely fast paced and stressful, so being able to relax in the cabin is vital. For me one of the best helps to relax was the sound system in my tractor. There was nothing better on a Friday night than to put on some tunes and it didn’t matter how many hours you had already driven, you always got a boost. I remember when I first drove a tractor with a subwoofer – it might sound silly but it was amazing how such a small thing made days so much more enjoyable.
I no longer drive tractors for 100hrs. Instead, I’ve made it my mission to do everything I can behind the scenes at Valtra to make each cabin as good a place to be as my living room. This year was the first time I had a real summer holiday, and many a time while relaxing in the evening sun, I looked back to the best times of my life on summer evenings knocking down grass, and I lifted a glass to every man, woman and dog who were spending their evenings doing the best job in the world.
The writer of this blog post is a Valtra Sales Engineering Specialist.