The Dalgety Bay Sailing operates a tractor across the entire club grounds (including slipways) part of which are frequently accessed by members of the public in addition to club members. Only trained, authorised members of the Club operate the tractor to move safety boats and members boats to and from the slipways. The mandatory short training session with the Harbour Master prior to being permitted to use the tractor will cover, `how to use` the tractor and also how to launch and recover boats from the slipways.  This involves basic pre-operation checks, starting, driving on the beach and safety procedures. Following the training, new drivers are issued with “Tractor access Keys” and these keys are not to be passed onto any other member for use, even if the view is that member has already been trained on the use of the tractor.

For further information regarding access to use the tractor, please contact the Harbour Master or another committee member.

The Paramount Rule –

No kids in the vicinity of the tractor & slips until all ribs are in the water and the tractor is parked.  For obvious reasons!

The following procedures were introduced to ensure safe operation of the tractor after a full assessment of the risks had been carried out :

1. Drivers :

a) must hold a full UK driving license – mandated for our club insurance cover

b) must not have been disqualified

c) must be aged 21 or over

d) must have successfully completed the DBSC tractor use training course, that will allow them to be able to perform all of the following –

  • launch and recover RIBS
  • do general site moves with Boats / Trailers / Moorings etc

e) approved tractor drivers

  • Current drivers
  • Ruary Williamson (approved to move yachts)
  • Hugh Ross (approved to move yachts)
  • Iain Tait
  • Ian Renilson
  • Jock Stewart
  • David Williams (approved to move yachts)
  • Richard Higgins
  • Peter Taylor
  • Steve Panter
  • Rob McLeod
  • Authorised but not currently driving
  • John Dalrymple
  • Jimmy Tarvit
  • Sandy McPhail
  • Stewart Moss

2. Organisation / Documentation :

a) The Risk Assessment is to be reviewed annually

b) The tractor driving training is to ensure that prospective drivers are made aware of the hazards and precautions identified in the Risk Assessment.

c) A list of approved tractor drivers is to be maintained by the Harbour Master.

d) Harbour Master holds a photocopy of each drivers ‘drivers license’.

e) A list of people that have been issued with tractor keys is to be maintained by the Harbour Master.

f) A log of all reported faults and corrective action is to be maintained.

g) Tractor Log which should be completed on every occasion that the Tractor is used.

3. Usage

a) use of safety strops or trailer chains  is mandatory when launching / recovering all RIBs and other vessels

b) safety checks of the tractor are to be conducted by all drivers prior to commencing operation – yellow light flashing, brakes working, safety stops available, boat trailers being moved are stable / solid, trailer chocks available, hitch winch is operating correctly, horn working.

c) Drivers must be aware and constantly check people movement round them, especially children and people passing through the sailing club who are not members and therefore will not anticipate tractor movements while launching / recovering / moving boats

d) On Tuesday nights, and other occasions when a large number of children are expected, the area in which the tractor will operate must be fenced off.  In addition, a banksman wearing a high visibility vest will act as a lookout during operations.

e) yacht moves, other than for driver’s own boats, may only be conducted by drivers operating with permission of the Harbour Master, or as noted above.

Given that the tractor can break things and people so easily the standard use of the tractor is generally for RIB movements only.  Higher “RISK exposure” moves , i.e Members equipment / Yachts and trailer moves may only be conducted / controlled by the Harbour Master (including where owners move boats), although they may occasionally ask specific drivers to do specific jobs / moves for them and provided that they are satisfied that person has adequate experience. This is as per the following from the Club Handbook regarding Harbour Rules –

8. Equipment / boats may only be moved around the club grounds by the owner, the Harbour Master or their nominated assistant, for reasons that require short term relocation. However, the owners are responsible for their property at all times. Notification of moves is not always possible.

9. Any members using a security clamp on a trailer must provide the Harbour Master with a copy of the key, or inform them of the security code to allow the Harbour Master to manage our boat storage.

Other Points to Note

KEEP A LOOK OUT…… you are driving a lethal weapon. When you are in the cab you cannot hear anything outside so you could easily drive over something / someone and not even realise.

Be especially safety aware surrounding the slips in particular.  Too many people walk to the front of the tractor without thinking / communication / signals between the individual and the driver. Also, there should never be anyone between the water and a towed boat as there has been an occasion in the past where the hitch has come off and the safety strop snapped.