Tractor Mike, a YouTube video-based training channel for novice tractor operators, surpassed 1 million views April 9, 2016. According to developer Mike Wiles, “I’m honored and excited that my channel has attained this milestone. What really surprises me is the wide demographic range reached by my efforts. The videos are predominantly watched by novice tractor operators in North America, but residents of Australia, India, Ireland, Greece, Germany, New Zealand and France have also viewed my channel to learn more about selecting, operating and maintaining their equipment. This illustrates the global nature of the platform. It amazes me that the movement of urban dwellers back to rural areas must be a worldwide phenomenon.”
Wiles is a contributing writer and columnist for Rural Lifestyle Dealer magazine and a regular contributor to Farm Equipment magazine. Both magazines are published by Lessiter Media.
The idea for Tractor Mike came from Wiles’ experience managing a tractor dealership near Springfield, Mo. “Our area consistently sold over 300 compact tractors a year and I noticed a trend, during my last 10 years in the dealership, that people who shopped for compact tractors understood them less and less. It makes sense, as time goes on, each generation is further removed from production agriculture, but they still have an inborn desire to live in the country and need a tractor to maintain their property. One day, after assisting 4 consecutive customers who were novice tractor shoppers, it occurred to me that there needed to be a place on the Internet for unbiased equipment training and my search found little or nothing available. I recorded my first video shortly thereafter.”
The Tractor Mike YouTube channel was created in 2012, but didn’t really take off until last year. “I currently divide my time between the Tractor Mike videos, a business that I co-own that assists equipment dealers with web marketing activities called EDM and freelance writing. With YouTube you have to be consistent, and in 2015, I began producing one video a week and loading each Thursday at 2 pm CST. The channel has currently amassed 3,355 subscribers with monthly views at 81,000 today and still growing.”
“The thing I enjoy most about the channel,” says Wiles, “is getting to help people all over the world understand tractors, and especially, be safe with them. We all know, even compact tractors, in the hands of an inexperienced operator, can injure or kill. The comments I get from around the world, thanking me for the effort, make me very committed to devoting time to the project.”
The Tractor Mike YouTube Channel can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcJfWLxro6DWJfy6kpfZE3g, a new, accompanying website can be viewed at http://asktractormike.com.