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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Stopped Trucks

Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at 8:03 AM

I mentioned the other day that I got my first ride on a tractor, and it's happened again... another first ride but this time in a combine. The combines have been hard at work around Cambridge working over the wheat fields, and it was another real thrill for me to ride along to watch the big cutters operation.

Watching that big wheel out front and learning that you don't just drive a combine, you operate it was a bit surprising to me being a city slicker. I had always figured a combine was pretty much like a large lawn mower and you could just point it and enjoy the view. I learned real fast that there is a lot more than that involved!

I have a feeling my neighbors think I'm a bit nuts or perhaps just a big kid for wanting to ride along during harvest operations. Still, there is a lot I want to learn about Ag and farming operations, and I seem to learn real well through the observation method so until they tell me to leave them alone, I'll keep askin'.

Part of the afternoon's fun was a trip to the Bartley grain elevator in a powerful if not comfortable semi loaded with wheat. Now I'm not a stranger to the cab of a truck... I drove just about everything the US Air Force had, and I spent many a day behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler hauling equipment into remote locations, but a delivery to a grain elevator was something completely new to me.

It wasn't really any different than I expected, other than the line of trucks waiting to dump their cargo. When we neared the elevator, the line of trucks ran through the elevator yard and past the railroad tracks on the county road. It happened to be one of those hot days in the upper 90's, no clouds, breeze, or air conditioning in the truck.

It didn't take long for the lineup of grain haulers to move through the scales and onto the grates where the grain was dumped. It appeared to me to be a well organized ballet of trucks and spotters that moved with the simplest of hand signals and accomplished a lot of work without a word being spoken. Still, it takes a bit of time for several hundred bushels of wheat to fall out of a truck, so the line movement was more like rush hour in Los Angeles.

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The City Slickers
Brian Hoag
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