View Full Version : Are these guys too young to be running Z's?

12-21-2001, 10:32 PM
Found these testimonials on a major manufacturers website. Is this normal in rural US? #2 uses it com.. Wouldn't see a kid running a Z around here.

#1 Hi I am 12 years old and I Mow with a Exmark Lazer Z riding Mower 72 inch deck 25 HP. and it is great,dependable, and we love it. We have 5 acres and it gets it done really fast.Approx. 1 and a half hours. The thing I like about it is the speed! Thanks for making a good quality mower!
Tom Greenwood

#2, My dad and I just got a 48" Laser Z HP! It's awesome!
It used to take me 2-4 hours a lawn with my old ride on mower. Now it takes me 30 minutes to 1 hour a lawn! I've never been so
impressed with a mower before. Keep up the good work! Miles Bradshaw Age 13

lee b
12-21-2001, 10:46 PM
Too young? My son is 11 and can probably run circles around some on here with a z. When I was 10, I was operating big farm equipment and driving it on the highway between farms. If they have been properly trained and know how to operate safely, what's wrong with it.

12-21-2001, 10:51 PM
I think this is a question of where you are raised. The city or the Farm.

12-21-2001, 11:03 PM
I'd never put a 12 yr old behind one of our WB's on a com. account. Not even sure about the insurance issues.

12-21-2001, 11:25 PM

My son was 14 almost 15 the summer I put him on a Walker. He is one of the best Walker operator I have ever seen. I think a WB takes a little more muscle and would not let him operate one at age 14 either. I am a city slicker wantabe farm boy. Farm country has a different set of values and kids grow up in some ways quicker. The two summer that just my son and I cut grass together were some of the best time we spend together. I am divored single parent.

12-21-2001, 11:27 PM
i think it's ok to let kids run this equip at home,but never commercially.If I was a customer it would bother me.Dosen't say much for the company.

12-21-2001, 11:59 PM
I bought and operated my first commercial walk behind when i was 11. Bought my first commercial rider (60inch gravely 3 wheeler) when I was 13. I would of never let anyone my age operate my machines though!

lawrence stone
12-22-2001, 12:22 AM
What I did as a kid in the sixties can NEVER be duplicated today.

I have pictures of my self as an infant in the arms of my father with him sitting on a Farmall Cub.

By the time I was 10 I had a Honda 50 Mini bike. At 12 I had a 90 Suzuki. At 11 I was driving the "farm" truck a 1952 Ford F-100 3 on the tree.

At 14 I had a 185 Suzuki. At 16 I had a 1969 Camaro 327 2-V auto.

At 18 I had a brand new Nova SS 350 4v 4-speed hatchback.

I was born to operate machinery. Some people have it, some don't. You have to have the motor skills so don't rip up the turf and or equipment.

I raised so much hell as a kid the viperboy would be envious.

12-22-2001, 12:28 AM
I am a farm "boy" at 11 I bought my first rider a 8 hp sears.
I ran my first tracter at about 8 or 9 Its been so long I cant remember. I was driving a 5 ton 24' flat bed hay truck ON THE HIGHWAY when I was 12, not legel but it needed to be done.

My 5 year old son has been running my Z for 2 years with me on it with him, he has ran my old tracter rider with a trailer full of brush by himself, he stands up off of the seat and kills it for brakes, he has also driven my k3500 crew cab locked in granny low in the field with me scattering hay from the back.

He will be working for me some day and will know how to operate the equipment SAFLY. He may not run it on every account but there will be some he will. He loves to go with me and drag brush and such, I dont let him go often though. There will be some things he wont be able to do but he will do what he can.

I went with my dad to work when I was a kid he was a carpenter and when one old lady bitched about it he looked at her and ask her if she wanted to be his runner and get him the tools he needed when she said no he said "my boy knows wher every tool is in my truck he every trip he makes out that door I would have to make and you would be paying me to go and get my tools, so you see this boy is saving YOU money"
She was nice to me after that, matter of fact I even did some painting for her a few years ago when dad couldn't get to it.

Being a biblical person I do belive what it says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" that meand more then just taking him to school and church.
It means instilling a WORK ETHIC in them, and what is one of the biggest gripes on the board lack of good help.

I know there are some that will disagree with me bit this is how I was brought up.


12-22-2001, 12:58 AM
age is just a number, its knowledge, having common sense, and ability that counts

Robert Doubrava
12-22-2001, 01:20 AM
As everyone has been saying, it's the knowledge that counts. I used a rider for the first time when I was 6. It was an old one, though. I used a push mower for the first time when I was 5. My Dad taught me how to use 'em AND repair 'em. If you let your kids use mowers, do not leave them unsupervised. That's what happened down the street from my house. A kid was using a riding mower, blades on, while his dad went in his backyard to get something. The kid fell off and some how the rider ran over him and killed him. It gave me the creeps for about a year. I could hardly touch a mower after that happened. I've gotten over it, though. I just hope that never happens again.:(

12-22-2001, 02:40 AM
its real popular around here to see a kid driving a 125,000 dollar farm tractor( or other implement) because we are in the heart of tobacco country. its been that way for years.

12-22-2001, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by lawrence stone

I raised so much hell as a kid the viperboy would be envious.

you think so????? have you ever blown up a clothes dryer with 10 m-80's?:D :blob2:

Richard Martin
12-22-2001, 05:05 AM
Consider this:

Lawn and garden equiptment accidents are the number one reason for limb amputations of children under the age of 16.

lawn jockey
12-22-2001, 07:22 AM
Like everyone has been saying its all in where you grow up............But times have changed since we where all young I to grew up on the farm yes I bought my first atc at 8yrs old was operating equipment at the same age(mostly the bobcat)pulling hay wagons with the truck at 12 from farm to farm! When I was young if we were playing in the yard if a tractor went by we all stopped and watched in awe....now kids dont bother to even give it a look! We farmed 9000 acre's Ive operated some of the biggest farm equipment made now I run crane for are underground crew.I definetly think ita all about where and how you were raised. I alway's here it from are general contractors now ..you sure can tell your and old farm boy I say what do you mean well your pretty good on hat thing! I will raise my kids in the country the same way I was raised its the best ! I had freinds who lived in the city and when I stayed there we had nothing to do but get in trouble at least in the country if you get into trouble its harmless! Well just my 2 cnts.Im not trying to city life isnt good but its not for me! viperman z try m-500's I think you'll like em

Atlantic Lawn
12-22-2001, 08:36 AM
My boy is 10 and he's been around machines all his life. He has the desire and he operates a Z on a few properties where we know the owners.He can use a trimmer faster and better than many of my crew.Walkbehinds are another story,he has the desire but the skill/muscle level just isn't there yet.It all depends on the kid and the equipment. I get spooked when I see some of my guys operating our Gravely with a bush hog attachment.In reverse the thing could run right over ya.

a1 lawncare
12-22-2001, 10:36 AM
i agree with all it depends on what you were raised around, i've been around some type of equipment all my life, like others i was running farm eq. when i was very young, i would think you would be safer with someone that had a adult helping you learn the ropes than you would turning a 18 year old loose that had never run anything in his life, that new Z is nothing like driving a car, yea there fast, just means someone with no guidance or exp. could get in troble quicker. i would never turn someone loose with a 8000-12000$ machine w/o some kind of intro. my 16 year old nephew is just starting to use my Z, he's actually doing pretty good but at times i think he wants to run too fast for the terrain, but thats the kid in him, and he does have respect for the equipment, the biggest thing here is to think first.

a bad example of turning someone loose with a loaded gun is alabamas new boater lic. if your 45 or older your granfathered in
it does not matter if you've never run a boat, if you dont know the rules of the waterways, you can still go run anything you buy, 70+ mph bass boat and you dont even have to know what a channel marker is, makes no sense to me, except all the law-makers are over 45 and this will genarate money, its not really about safety,,,,,,

oh well, ya'll be careful out there, keith

12-22-2001, 10:41 AM
I know two guys that were running farmall 1066 turbos when they were 6. One of them missed the bus to school one morning, he hopped on the tractor and drove to school. The principal wouldnt let him drive it home!!

When i was 2 i took my tricycle apart and put it back together so many times i stripped out the bolts. I was taking apart old mowers when i was five just to see how they worked.

When i was eleven my parents got a new murray so they let me have the old one. I painted flames on the front and drove it around a 43 acre field till it finally wore out.

How can u blow up a washing machine with m-80s??

Robert Doubrava
12-22-2001, 12:06 PM
Yes, how did you blow up a washing machine with M-80's? Did you douse it with gasoline first?:D

Fantasy Lawns
12-22-2001, 12:22 PM
Not relating to any farm equip issues .... but as far as running ANY equip .....under the age of 18 ..... there are liability, WC n insurance issues at risk ;->

last year in N Fla .... a 16 year old running a WB on a slope ..... with a messed up safety gig ....... ended up flipping the mower on him self n lost his leg

a father doing tree work with his young son ...... killed himself in front of his son (he hit a power wire)

I ran farm equip when I was 14 but that's not cutting on someone's property

12-22-2001, 12:40 PM
Jim - right on with the kids '"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" that meand more then just taking him to school and church.
It means instilling a WORK ETHIC in them, and what is one of the biggest gripes on the board lack of good help.'

This is the reason I started our lawn service - train the kids. I have 3 boys 17, 12, & 9. My operating rules are:
They had to be 7 before they joined the crew (applied to youngest two)
Under 16 - limited to the 21" Toro's and the blowers. No Edger, Trimmer or other larger eq. ( at home in my presence, they run a couple 44" MTDs on our 2 acres.)
Under no circumstances do the younger two go out with the oldest unless I am along.
And I sternly discipline when I see something unsafe. (and I never see it repeated) I love my kids and never want to see them hurt. I teach them to work hard ... play hard!

One of our early customers commented the other day "When you first started working those boys, I thought you were awfully mean. Now I see them and realize you were right. What a good bunch of boys you have!"

One of our biggest problems today is fathers do not spend quality time with their kids. If your interested, a more complete story is on our website: whitleyslawn.com. Site just posted last week by a family friend. If you read the story, please beware some of the facts are not straight - it was written by a newspaper and they never quite capture the facts, but in general the story works.

We finished this season with 50+ lawns (10% commercial) and just contracted a 26 acre retirement facility for next year. I still retain my office job (with a competing retirement center) so will be looking for a quality young man to join my 17 yearold this summer.

Dads . . . Invest all the time and skills you can in your kids! It's Biblical to do likewise with your grandchildren!

I hope this will be helpful to someone on this site. May you all have a very blessed Christmas and a great New Year!

Whitleys Lawn Service

12-22-2001, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by whitleys

I have 3 boys 17, 12, & 9. My operating rules are:
They had to be 7 before they joined the crew (applied to youngest two)
Under 16 - limited to the 21" Toro's and the blowers.

So what are the insurance & liability issues if your 9yr. old does personal or prop. damage while running the 21" commercially?
I wouldn't let anyone under 18 even push a 21" on our props.

12-22-2001, 01:58 PM
Casey, if that's what you're comfortable with.. go with it. I wouldn't put just any youth out there either. In fact I might be safer with my youngsters than with some of the "over 18" bodies currently employed by lco's. Unfortunately our "lawsuit happy" , "cover my tail", "me only" society restricts what we should be doing to build a better USA. It's very unfortunate.

Some (most) of the earlier posts indicate many of the skills and character attributes of "Lawnsite.com" operators were gained "before age 18".

My favorite quote hangs on my wall over my computer at the office.

What is popular is not always right; what is right is not always Popular.

Our insurance company brokers do see us frequently at our jobsites and have contracted us to do their property next year.

12-22-2001, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by theleven
Not relating to any farm equip issues .... but as far as running ANY equip .....under the age of 18 ..... there are liability, WC n insurance issues at risk ;->

I am 17 and I run all of my equipment obviously ;) . My insurance company knows my age and charges me very well for it!!! Insurance is not easy to find for young guys but it is out there. I guess i dont have to worry about employees who are minors because I wont even hire them!!! there is a sparse number of minors in my area that could be trusted with expenseive and possibly very dangerous eqquipment!

12-22-2001, 02:04 PM
its not what these younguns can do.they can operate as
well as any. its what they will do with trucks and any equipment that can be reved up.friends were always telling me about the
nc u turns my son used to show off doing ----in the family car.
im a believer that young drivers are always going to have to experience losing control of a vehicle at least once befor they will understand the dangerous potential. so far all o mine have lived thru it . many do not

12-22-2001, 02:14 PM
All my employees are under 19 right now. They are my son's 18,16, 15, and some of there friends, mostly 17 -18. They go throught the same training program adult operators would. In fact most of them started on our property driving mules, atv's at about nine years old. My oldest boy, at the age of 12 was a very good tractor loader operator and worked all summer with us and contributed. He worked for me at a company I managed two years ago, and he went through and was fully trained, test and certified on every piece of equipment we had right up to 100 hp track hoe.

He built golf courses with me as well. They dug their own duck hunting pond with the back hoe this last summer.

I substitutue teach and assist at our high school vocational and mechanics class. This has provided me with a good source of employees in the summer time.

I doubt if any of the boys will follow in the business, except maybe one,as they have the fire service and law enforcement as career goals right now.

We have had some great times, they are learing a back up trade the right way, and understand that quality is job # 1.
(Thank you , Ford Motor Company).

Albemarle Lawn
12-22-2001, 02:49 PM
Local/State labor laws dictate who can and cannot work based on age.

At home, I think kids should be just fine on a Z provided the terrain is safe and that there is nothing nearby the can DRIVE UNDER and cause serious injury. Definitely tell the kid to stay away from back porch steps, swimming pools, etc.

A walk behing is probably much more dangerous because the hieght of the controls is set up for people in the 5'5"-6'5" range.

It just depends on the child. When I was 8 I had no problem driving a car solo at 60 mph, changed oil and adjusted carburetors. When I was 12 I performed heavy maint and repairs on cars and equipment, and was capable of FBI u-turns, parking brake 180 deg turns, etc and had driven over 120 mph.

Just depends on the kid. Farm raised probably the best bet.


12-22-2001, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by Robert Doubrava
Yes, how did you blow up a washing machine with M-80's? Did you douse it with gasoline first?:D

it was an old rusty dryer in the woods behind my house, it had a ton of ants in it Before i got to it, actually it didn't blow up it just went boom and shook a little bit:blob2:

12-22-2001, 08:06 PM
I look at it this way. I am now 16 I run all commerical equipment. I sometimes work another kid my age but he does the less dangerous jobs such as flat yards and clean up on bush trimming jobs. I do have insurance to cover although. I see all these fat men where I live riding z and then they will have a guy about 20 with them doing all the hard work such as weedeating. I just want to tell these boys that they need to get off of the z once in their life and get some exercise. I will tell you all this much that the young men in this business around here work hard and the long timers are doing the bad work b/c they are burned out. I just trying to say young people work hard too. Have a merry christmas.

Robert Doubrava
12-22-2001, 08:21 PM
Ok, Vipermanz. I was curious because I LOVE to blow things up!!:D I love fire, too. Don't have matches, use a cutting torch!:D

12-22-2001, 08:25 PM
u are right danny . my sons were excellent workers.
it still took a higher power to keepum alive thru the
im immortal yrs. heck what am i talkin about ,i was the same way.
i rode my mammas prayers until into my twenties.still am to some degree. later now

12-22-2001, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by whitleys

Our insurance company brokers do see us frequently at our jobsites and have contracted us to do their property next year.

How could they pay a claim for damages from a minor? It's great these kids are so responsible but don't your labour laws dictate their employment is illegal & therefore could not possibly be covered by said insurance co.?


12-22-2001, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by Robert Doubrava
Ok, Vipermanz. I was curious because I LOVE to blow things up!!:D I love fire, too. Don't have matches, use a cutting torch!:D makes me worry about this kid...

12-26-2001, 11:22 PM
at 12 i started off in this biz.......at 14 i had 2 Z's........I hired a kid last year who was 14 and more mature than m 3 other guys......I must say it all depends on the person.......oh yeah at 15 i was licensed and insured...yes that was 15 me not my family me......as i said it all depends on the person

Atlantic Lawn
12-27-2001, 08:23 AM
First let me say I love the work ethic of kids in LCO's and on this site. With that said, one of the few drawbacks this industry faces is image, and inequity in pricing. Young folks sometimes unknowingly undermine pricing structures in some instances. Some lco's must charge $35-45 an hr just to survive. When they go head to head with someone who lives at home,has low overhead, no thought to retirement,may not pay withholding on employes,etc. Our image as an industry suffers. There are very few industries in the US where kids actualy are a factor."How can you charge me $35 when Tommy has been doing my yard for two years for only $15 ?". I'm not saying Tommy wasn't doing good work, only that Tommy is probably not trying to feed a family.

12-27-2001, 08:45 AM
if he was good enough i would. bcause I myself ran the stuff as a teen and I still am a teenager (19). as lee blount said and others age doesn't matter if the operator is smart enough and good enough to run the machine. I myself have had friends work for me 1 since he was 14 and the other when he was 17. and honestly my crew is one of the best in the area( opinion). since were younger we want to be better than everyone else, we work to be the best and fix our mistakes so we don't have them no more or not as offen. since were still young we're more competitive than some of you older guys. everything is competition anymore and we know that best from our parents pushing us in sports in school. so in answering the question yes i would hired the person a younger person in a heart beat, if he was smart enough and good enough to handle the machines.
about being worried that a customer would get mad that someone younger doing the yard work, i don't get worried. because i bid on the place and 100% of the time the potential customer has called me from a customer i already have and they have seen my companies work and know the age of myself and my crew. but in counter to that I always make sure the job is done right before we leave the site.
younger kids as you guys would say have more desire and are just more competitve so we can do this tasks even if someone doesn't believe were capible of doing them.

12-27-2001, 09:05 AM
Atlantic Lawn- I would just like to say that mostly 90% of the time you are talking about younger kids. early teens (11-15), about kids not knowing what to charge to cut a lawn. you are right and I'm not gunna argue that.
but what I am going to point out to you is the main reason our industry gets a bad about appearance is from scrubs and lowballers. ( yes 2 words that many people hate to use for many reasons, but I'm talking the worst of the worst) we get bad reps from people going to someone's yard with old riped up sweat pants, half a shirt and very long dirty hair. and the same or different people who go to a lawn that almost every contrator in the area would agree the lawn would be $20-$25 a cut and their charging $10-$12. yes everyone knows both kinds of people. but what many of you don't want to admitt is that they are older than kids the majority of the time.
next point, as little tommy as you said(Atlantic Lawn) cuts old miss widow who can't afford to pay a lot of money for someone to take care of her lawn for only $15 a cut. whats wrong with that? how many little tommys' are there? and if you haven't thought of that little sweet tommy who helps out miss widow with other things when he might be at her lawn is giving our industry a VERY VERY BIG BOOST in the positve direction. because he's sweet and nice and he treats old miss widow with respect because she's older than and his parents taught him better. and as little tommy grows up he becomes a business man who sticks with his word with old miss widow to cut her lawn for only $15 when he knows he should get double that. he gives old miss widow VERY VERY MANY REASONS to support tommy and tells her firends (not to mention the point of the rest of the neighbors telling people about tommy) and when they say all the good about tommy and our industry they bring it up our image up alittle. so ask yourselfs does little tommy hurt us that bad?

12-27-2001, 09:41 AM
All these experinces are great but in our operation you must be 18 years old to operate anything big enough or dangerous enough to kill or maim.

Have an accident with a child operating machinery and chances are your green industry career is over.

12-27-2001, 09:43 AM
After reading most of the posts I have a couple of comments.

1. In most states there are child labor laws that pretain to use of machinery and hand tools. Now in KY they are very unclear about mowers. If they knew what kind of equipment we use that might change.

2. How are the 16 and 17 year guys getting around. Doesn't D.O.T. have regulations on Commercial vehicle. I believe that if you get pulled over in some states you better have a Commerical Drivers license. (CDL) I think you have to be 21 to get this.

3. In KY any person under 14 can't have a job during school session for grainful means. Except approved by the school board.
This is not a big deal until little Johnny doesn't make the grades.

4. Safety, SAFETY. I just shuttered .When I read some of the post , about taking their children on a ride on a mower or tractor.
Just remember you have to live with yourself not me.

ONE SEAT ONE RIDER. NO Exceptions!!!!!

Atlantic Lawn
12-27-2001, 10:39 AM
In reponse to Joshua, what you don't seem to realize is that you sell yourself, and the industry short by under valueing your service. If you are going to give the little old lady a break then why not cut it for free? Is it because you value your time and effort? Tommy is not giving our industry a boost, he is giving Tommy a boost.It is very short sighted to be charging the same price for your services year after year,while the price of insurance,rent,yellow pages,trucks,equipment,and good labor do nothing but rise in most areas.To lowball and do a job for half of it's fair market value does not help your industry.It only serves to retain an image of kids cutting lawns for extra money. When you are prepared to set a fair price for a professional sevice then you have really helped the industry and the living standard for those who work in it.When Tommy grows up I hope he is still in the industry and makes the money he needs to support his family.

lee b
12-27-2001, 07:54 PM
What exactly is "fair-market value"? You can put a value to that for you, but not for me, so there is nothing fair about it. Kids have cut grass for as long as there have been lawnmowers. If you're worried about a kid ruining your image as a "pro", then you have a problem that cannot be resolved, because if cutting grass is all you can offer your customers, then your "fair" game to every kid that can push or drive a mower. I keep hearing about how professional everyone here is, one guy even trying to compare lawn maintenance to doctors and lawyers, get for real people. This is not some intellectual challenge, it's cutting grass and maintaining properties to look there best. Anyone with the desire to bust their azz and some common sense can do it and do it well. The difference you have to make between yourself and the competition is #1 - RELIABILITY, #2 - CONSISTANCY of results, #3 insurance to cover any liabilty, #4 - the ability to perform work that others either can't or will not do, #5-the ability to sell your service to customers at a price you can profit from, that's twice what they could get the same job done for. Your not gonna get rid of the kids or the "scrubs", and if your competeing with them, you're already on the losing end. I only want customers who desire the very best and are willing to pay extra for it. :cool:

12-27-2001, 08:33 PM
I have two daughters and considering all the time spent with them, watching them grow and learn, seeing the potential within, I can't imangine any reason that they should have to operate heavy machinery before they are mature (both physically and mentally). I would feel the same way about a son if I had one. My oldest is just 5 now but I know they will not go near any of the equipment until they are WAY older. Nothing is worth them getting hurt. Let the grass go to seed!


12-27-2001, 09:40 PM
I starte teaching my son to use my ZTR when he was 10, but only in open areas. He's now 14 and he's my right hand man! He's also spoiled in the fact that he's NEVER used, or learned how to use a 21" mower. I can only blame my self- LOL.

12-27-2001, 11:17 PM
lee, I'm in aww, someone else is one the same page as me. as for Atlantic Lawn, you're saying you put an ad in the yellow pages? may I ask you why you would waiste your money? as I stated before I DO NOT ADVERTISE, I don't have to, not for my 1st 5 years, I turn down jobs every spring after I take 10 to 15 more because I don't have the time. And those 10-15 I do take on they are charged more because my time is very very valued they pay more for me to cut their lawn. All my lawns come from word of mouth. If you're so worried about little tommy's operation buy him out. you obviously didn't read my posts. go back over them and instead of looking at them read them afew times and think about what I'm saying. because you didn't do that the first time.

12-28-2001, 01:28 PM
My six year old can run my Gravely 260z better than some of my employees...He takes his time and is careful..He actually watches where he's going, unlike some of my workers.....

12-28-2001, 02:43 PM
Also unlike some of your workers your 6 year old would not be covered for any personal or propery damages he may incur on a commercial prop.. Do you actually let a 6 yr. old run the Gravely on your accounts?

12-28-2001, 06:16 PM
Personally I think its great to hear that children are learning their parents profession. Safety is a big factor as well as following the laws that pertain to child labor laws.
In my opinion children need to learn early what hardwork can do for you. Too many of my friends kids are to lazy or complain about hardwork when they ask to help. They much rather go back to there Ninetindo or computer game. I belive that the work ethics are learn at an early age and not when they graduate school. Our city has a work program for youths during the summer where they can sign up and specify what they are interested in. They earn only minimum wage and can not use power tools or equipment. Its a great program for any city.
I personally grew up on a farm in Kansas and was put to work the day I could pickup a hay bale(about 80 pounds, about age 8). The first year I help with haying and feeding livestock as much as I could. The years after that I was expected and kept up with the work load that my brothers (10 and 15 years older) had. At age 10 I was taught how to operate tractors and drive trucks, with supervision. By the time I was 12 I would be left unsupervised to plow or disc fields, pull hay wagons on roads from the fields to the barn, and use trucks to feed livestock.
At age 14 I was able to get a restricted license and then I was allowed to drive on paved roads. My father never let me drive loaded wheat trucks to town until I was 18. However many of my friends were driving loaded wheat trucks at 14. By the time I reached age 21 I had thoundsands of hours on ag and heavy equipment and an unrestricted Class A drivers license. I also never had to look for work, due to the work of mouth. From age 19 to 24 I had turn down more job offers than I could shake a stick at. When I moved to San Diego to finish college and looked for work, most people I applied with saw that I was from the mid-west and were willing to hire me due to the fact that most people from the mid-west are more reliable and have better work ethics.
If I had not learned this at a young age from my parents, who would have taught me this. Schools do not and can not teach good work ethics, you either learn for your parents or are self taugh(after making mistakes).
Not all children will accel as fast as others and certain jobs should be considered by not age, but by ability and common sense each child has. One of my friend's son(16) is the only person I trust for safety reasons, besides my self to use my 28" Husky chainsaw. He's help me cut wood for our fireplaces with his dad since he was 11. Not even most adults that have gone to safety classes and cut more wood are as skill as he is. By age 15 he could fall 60' dead trees exactly where we wanted them with supervision, but no help. He has had job offers from local tree companys that specialize in large tree removals and firewood. Currenly he is thinking about becoming an arborist.
Sorry for being so long winded, but as mention before America needs more young adults with good work ethics.

01-03-2002, 01:33 AM
at 16 currently i have run anything from a 21" push mower to a 72" front mount deere, and my personal favortie a 7753 bobcat loader. we mow almost all commerical. our insurance man knows i am out there. the district manger for the gas stations we mow know and has seen me out there. he accually like the fact.
but still i goto school with a bunch of rich kids that i personally would be scared to death to see run the stuff i do. it all gose back to how and where you where rasied.

16 and playing with this stuff for as long as i can remember