Sage: Memorial Day’s are meant to be memorable

Holliday, Texas-Yesterday was Memorial Day.  A day to appreciate everything that everyone has done to protect our great country. It is also the unofficial start to summer, even though for Harvesters, summer starts the minute the combines get in the yard.  This Memorial Day will be remembered for a while on Sammons Adventures Harvesting, and not because we were able to barbeque and play at the lake.

It started very unusual for eastern Texas; we didn’t have to fight humidity and were able to get the combines rolling pretty early.  There weren’t any lines at the elevator for trucks to dump, and other than changing a few broken sections, the combines were always in the wheat.  Then one of our truck drivers decided to say, “Things are going too smoothly.”

Almost as soon as he said those words, problems arose with the combines handling the terrain.  One of our combines got stuck twice in sinkholes, and had to be pulled out by our grain cart.  You will see this when you are cutting around ponds (or tanks as they are referred to in Texas), but nothing shocked me more than when Dad got stuck at 4:00 p.m.

He dug the combine in to the top of the rim of the tire and bent the ladder.  He buried the combine so bad that it snapped our towrope from the grain cart.  Our farmer had to go get his big tractor and a steel cable to finally pull the combine out.  Other than a bent ladder and some shot down pride, everything was fine, but we will be pulling mud out of the undercarriage until at least fall harvest.  Everyone was relieved to see that Dad is human and may make a mistake or two. They were really glad they weren’t who bent the ladder.

About the same time as the combine got stuck, things started to go awry at the elevator.  We went from a total of 10 minutes from start to finish to an hour and a half, mostly just because of truck traffic.  For some reason only a few trucks were hauling before 4:00 p.m. but after that trucks flooded the elevator.  The only reason why the combines didn’t have to stop is because we finished the field and had to move about 10 miles.

All in all today was a good day, just memorable.  We eclipsed 1600 acres in two full days and two half days.  The wheat is still going great and we just opened up a field that is a 600 acres and we don’t have to fight terraces.  Our goal is to finish it today.  We are also switching elevators from Harrold to Wichita Falls, which may be another adventure in itself.

That’s all for now, I hope everyone had a safe and memorable holiday, I know we did.

Dumping at elevator
My truck dumping at the elevator. It was early in the day and there was no traffic.

Sinkhole mess

Dad standing next to the combine after he buried it.

Sinkhole mess
The ladder after dad’s sinkhole incident. It is now more of a staircase than a ladder.

Sage Sammons can be reached at All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection


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