Pretty sad that most kids in this day and age don't have the opportunity to learn and respect machinery. At the age of 7 I was given charge of one of the original Cub Cadet lawn tractors, a 60' or 61' vintage I think. Of course this had all the safety features of a mean dog. The most important safety feature though was Dad taking a little time to explain how to safely operate it and how badly I could be hurt if I didn't follow a few simple rules. I mowed the lawns at the trailer court Dad owned (notice I didn't say "mobile living community") for many years after that. It was my responsibility to mow the lawns and maintain the tractor and I don't remember having taken any damage as a result. We didn't mow the individual lots, so it was easy to pull down 5 or 6 bucks or a baloney sandwich and a soda on a Saturday if somebody needed their lot mowed. Dad found out I was making a little on the side, so I had to start splitting the cost of the gas! That was as much as a dollar a week set back! No 8 years old is not too young to start someone in learning correct and safe operation of machinery and life in general. Bad habits (via ignorance/arrogance) are hard to break. Good habits learned first are hard to beat.
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