As an Agricultural Service Technician, David services and repairs agricultural machinery, so farmers can harvest their crops and provide us with the everyday products we couldn’t live without.
In his line of work, there isn’t a typical working day – which is why he loves it so much. “Every day is different – with different farms, machines and problems to solve and different people to speak to – from passers-by, to building site operatives and those who work in horticulture.”
When he’s not driving around the countryside visiting clients, using his analytical skills to diagnose faults and find solutions, he’s back at the workshop with his team preparing the latest machines or looking at equipment that has been brought in for repair.
“As technicians we look at how something works, how something’s designed and if we can make it better.”
David didn’t always know what he wanted to do. When he was a child, he was fascinated with finding out how things work and making things, first playing with Lego, then with radio controlled cars and planes, and finally car engines.
When David was 16 he realised that he didn’t want to stay on at school for sixth form. Instead, he wanted to try a career in mechanical engineering where he could work with his hands.
“Because I was academically gifted, my school were trying to push me down an academic route – but I fancied something different. You can’t always go by what your teachers tell you. You have to go with what you believe is right.”
“I worked as a Saturday job in a tool shop owned by a farmer – he said, ‘why don’t you look at Agricultural Engineering?’” David did, and he’s never looked back.
“There are so many aspects to being a technician. We work in electrics, mechanics, computers – we have to have a basic understanding of everything. You can become a specialist in any of those areas and pursue a career off that baseline of knowledge.”
“I did specialise at one point in little tractors, of around 50 horsepower, and I got to go to the Prime Minister’s house at Chequers to look at his tractor.”
There are many skills and attributes needed for what he does – a good memory, keen interest, great communication skills, a logical mind and a passion for knowing how things work.
“My first job was in a tool shop. That’s where I got my passion for tools. Since then it’s built up from using them. And because we use a lot of modern technology, we like gadgets – we’re gadget mad!”
“We’re constantly researching and buying any gadget that would make our lives easier. My favourite gadget at the moment is my thermal imaging camera. It’s really good fun.”
David's career pathway
- * National Diploma in Engineering at College
- * HND in Agricultural Engineering
- * Started an Apprenticeship with Turney Agriculture, splitting his time between college and working on site
- * Became a full-time Agricultural Service Technician