High Plains Journal All Aboard Wheat Harvest


Steph: It happens
Steph Osowski

Apache, Oklahoma – Have I mentioned how much I love small town America? Because I really do. For today’s small town love demonstration, I will tell you that the bank had an area setup at the elevator and was cooking burgers for all the harvest crews. As I was un-tarping, one of the ladies asked me how many were in my crew. Upon hearing my response of, “There’s just 3 of us,” she replied, “Okay, we will make you 10 burgers then.” I mean, who I am to turn down free food?

I thought about not posting about this next incident but, it might be exactly what someone out there needs to read to feel better about their own mishap. I’m just gonna go for it. So the other day, I hauled to a new elevator. When you drive truck for a harvest crew, this can be a daily occurrence. Elevators come in all shapes and sizes as well as the scales and pits that go with them. Short, tall, skinny, fat, fast, slow – they make them all sorts of ways. Today’s featured scale is skinny. When the scale workers didn’t recognize my truck with my first load, they automatically came out to spot me.

The second load comes around. I pull on the scale with no problems, go inside the scale house, and do the typical trucker dance. I jumped back in and was pulling off when I heard the ear-piercing sound of truck hitting the scale. Being the eternal optimist I am, I thought to myself, “It was only a few seconds, couldn’t have done much damage, right?” And then that moment passed and I was mad and utterly disappointed in myself knowing I had hit the scale. Upon jumping out and surveying the damage, I came to find I had ripped the bottom passenger step clean off. Well, not quite clean off. It was hanging by a thread of metal.

I can’t lie to you — I was kicking myself. Hard. The voices in my head went around and around, chasing each other with the same phrases; you should have known better, this isn’t your first rodeo, and amateur hour isn’t until later this evening. I called John right away to let him know (you’d be amazed how quickly bad news travels, and I wanted him to hear it from me). At the end of the day, John couldn’t have cared less. His response to me was, “Well, does the truck still run?” All the elevator workers just laughed at me saying how this was the LEAST amount of damage they had seen when it came to truck/scale contact. The conclusion was made that the scale workers should be keeping a running tally of the Skinny Scale Victims. It just goes to show no matter how long you’ve been out here, mistakes happen.

Our time here in Apache has come to a close. We drove through some major shrubbery to get to our last two fields yesterday and plan to blow combines off, load up and take this show up the road to Cherokee, Oklahoma. The wheat averaged around 15-20 bushels with 56-58 pound test weights. Heading to stop number three? Already?!

Quote of the Day – “That thing is handier than a pocket on a shirt.”

Stuff Harvesters Do – Write important numbers down on any available scrap of paper… don’t throw any paper with a number away without asking first.
So majestic.
So majestic.
Grading the wheat.
Kevin at the Apache Elevator, grading the wheat.
Under the magnifying glass.
Under the magnifying glass.
Apache elevator.
Apache Elevator.
In line at the Fort Cobb elevator.
In line at the Fort Cobb Elevator. Shout out to the staff for being so supportive and uplifting after my trucker mishap!
Oops.
Oops.
Doesn't look too bad.
Doesn’t look too bad, I guess.
Farmer Milton.
Farmer Milton and John discussing the next field.
Trucks and sunsets.
Trucks and sunsets.
Overseeing the progress.
Overseeing the progress.
Really like this one.
Big fan of this one.
"Do-do" birds, as I call them.
“Dodo” birds, as I’ve often called them.
The closest a harvester gets to a lake is when you combine near one.
The closest a harvester gets to a lake is when you combine near one.
Corndogs make anyone happy.
If you look close, you can see he has a corn dog in his hand. Corn dogs make anyone happy.
Gorgeous harvest backdrop.
Gorgeous harvest backdrop.
This old house.
This old house.
The lighting in this field was to die for.
The lighting in this field was to die for.
B&W.
Gotta love the black and white setting.
Dusk.
Dusk cutting.
This one will be framed in my house with some old barn wood.
This one will be framed in my house with some old barn wood.
Lights.
Lights.
Love these colors.
Love these colors.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. You can contact Steph at stephanie@allaboardharvest.com.
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16 Responses to Steph: It happens
Steph Osowski

  1. Worked in grain elevators for 45 years, something with the scales every year. Trucks got bigger, faster than the scales got upgraded. smh

    • Haha yes you are right, trucks are only getting bigger but the elevators are standing the test of time.

  2. Don’t feel too bad about your truck step, at least you didn’t scuff any paint! Have done the same thing. Hate the scales with the raised I beams. You can usually gravel a road with the broken lug nut covers around them. Still annoys a person when you have lots of miles under your belt then something like that happens. Your boss was cool about it too, that’s always good. Keep after it and stay safe!

    • You are right, those types of scales are very tricky. Just couldn’t see that side as well as I thought but I really appreciate the encouragement! Best wishes and be safe out there, too!

  3. love your blogs and photos !! look at it this way,
    any mishap associated with “skinny scale” ,
    If it were myself, I would be braggin! My mishaps are usually associated with ” what
    were you trying to do” for which I usually have no answer… LOL

  4. A few of our elevators have upgraded to “skinny scales”. I almost just close my eyes when weighing on. Thank you for the update and photos. I rode with Tracy the other day as I was catching up bookwork in my office. We are still a bit away for our harvest.
    All of you have a great day!
    PS, just a bit strange to not see you with your purple truck, but blue suits you!

    • Oh that sounds fun! I cringed every time after I pulled onto the scale. I ended up rolling my window down also every time after and stuck my head out to get as close as I could on my drivers side. Wishing you the best as well!

  5. Actually, you might ask the boss to switch to Chartreuse with Orange stripes or polka-dots! Really stands out.
    Back about 1950-51, the Oklahoma A&M humor magazine, “The Aggievator” had that kind of cover. Chartreuse with Orange Polka Dots.
    Sorta makes a statement, while inducing eye strain.
    [My mother was born in Kiowa County, Indian Territory just before statehood. Young Lone Wolf of the Kiowa Apache was her riding instructor. When I was about 5-to-10, she scandalized the neighborhood by putting a rawhide string around a horse’s lower jaw, swinging up bareback and riding across the bunch grass prairie like the wind. Drove a grain truck with the best of the men during WWII.]

    • I think polka dots would be a good addition to any vehicle, you are correct. Always love hearing your stories!

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