Staff from seven sugarmills operated by the Mitr Phol group came together with New Holland Agriculture in August to learn the fundamentals of tractor operations and get a good look around the latest additions to the company’s fleet.
The Mitr Phol sugar mill in Phu Kieo district, Chiyaphum, Thailand, was the location for the event, organised by New Holland Agriculture staff and the ‘Mitr Phol Modern Farm Academy’. The academy is a series of programmes designed to train staff and suppliers of Mitr Phol Group in the best practises of sugar cane production.
The training ran for three days allowing twenty trainees per day to get hands-on, practical experience with New Holland tractors in a safe environment. The trainees are known as ‘Challengers’ and are the link between the Mitr Phol Group and their many individual sugarcane producers across Thailand. The ‘Challengers’ offer guidance and support to the producers about the latest farming techniques and technologies in order to maximise their productivity each season.
In the morning., the instructors dealt with the basics; a classroom-based session covering the key features of an agricultural tractor, its uses and how it should be maintained so that all the trainees shared a common knowledge base. One exciting new aspect of the training was the introduction of basic precision agriculture techniques such as satellite-based guidance and variable-rate applications using crop mapping.
In the afternoon, the trainees conducted a walk-around of two of the larger New Holland tractors in the Mitr Phol fleet, the TD5.110 and TS6.140, modern farming machines used in land preparation across Southeast Asia. After the walkaround, one of the most crucial elements of the training occurred when trainees were trained and tested on basic tractor operational skills; attaching an implement, moving the tractor around a course and detaching the implement. These vital yet often overlooked basic skills are key to ensuring the safety of everyone in the agricultural environment and contribute to reducing the rates of accidents in the agricultural sector. Another interesting opportunity was for the trainees to learn a set of internationally-recognised hand signals used to control vehicle movements, especially in warehouses and farmyards.
The relationship between the Mitr Phol Group and New Holland Agriculture stretches back many
years and the partnership between the two companies is stronger than ever with the commencement of this training programme. One of the Mitr Phol trainees commented, ‘The course has been very interesting and I have learned many new things. I am looking forward to sharing this knowledge with local farmers.’ Far from being a one-off event, further training on New Holland tractors is scheduled to be delivered before the sugarcane harvest takes place in November so that operators using tractors to haul sugarcane from the fields are confident in using the machinery safely and productively.
Bringing the three-day training session to a close, Wiz Jupawang, sales manager for New Holland said, ‘This training has been just one of the ways that shows New Holland in Thailand is committed to putting our customers first and delivering on the value and professionalism that the New Holland name commands’