ATV manufacturer Yamaha has pledged to help improve farm safety by offering free ATV rider competency training from European All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (EASI) to anyone purchasing a new Yamaha ATV.

“We have always advocated ATV operators being trained to use any machines, so to help improve driver competency we offer these courses free of charge,” said William Kay, Yamaha's ATV manager.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the total cost of workplace injury to agriculture, forestry, and fishing was estimated at between £108m and £274m. To reduce risk, improve operator competence, and help safeguard workers, the HSE strongly advise that ATV operators complete a training course.

“ATVs when used properly can save time and money. Our training courses highlight general machine checks, upkeep, weight distribution and active riding, which is imperative when operating on uneven, rutted terrain which is so often found on farms,” pointed out Amy Morris, EASI UK's regional operations manager.

Taking a basic course to learn riding skills and use the correct equipment can help prevent the risk of accidents.

“With the ever-increasing popularity of ATV’s many operators have little or no experience. An ATV handles very differently to cars and motorcycles so it is vitally important that all users should learn how to safely operate an ATV by taking an operator course,” said Mrs Morris.

The training can be completed in one day and there are 38 centres throughout the UK to do so. EASI advises that all riders, including those with years of experience, make the most of this offer.

“Even experienced riders can find themselves in potentially hazardous situations that can, without the correct training and knowledge, result in serious accidents. We welcome this move by Yamaha and hope that its customers will take advantage of this offer,” added Mrs Morris.

What the training entails:

The safety training course takes 4½ hours and is available for all ATV riders aged six and above – if not covered by the manufacturer from which you buy your ATV, the course normally costs £180 plus VAT per rider.

Anyone buying a new or used ATV from the leading SIX manufacturers (Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, BRP and Yamaha) via an authorised UK dealer is eligible for free or highly subsidised EASI Rider training, subject to qualifying terms.

The QVC generic loading, towing and reversing (GLTR) module can be added to the EASI Rider course to make this a full day programme, subject to terms, conditions and availability.

The standard course is an interactive, hands-on learning experience that is both practical and enjoyable. As well as teaching safe riding techniques, the course covers safety clothing and protective equipment, pre-ride inspections, risk assessment and environmental issues.

Riders are expected to supply their own ATVs for training and for children aged 6-16 they must be riding machines appropriate for their age as laid out in the ATV (Safety) Regulations 1989 (No. 2288).

The programme consists of 16 lessons, which range from suitable protective clothing, through to correct start up procedures and operating advice, with safety always the main criteria.

Contact can be made through your local participating dealer or e-mail: