Megan: Chadron, Neb.

To our relief, we were able work our tails off and finish in Imperial earlier this week. We’ve been short-handed lately, running with a crew of only four people. With two combines, one grain cart, two semis, a service truck and a pickup, we are easily outnumbered by our equipment. On normal days our “small and mighty” crew is very efficient but on moving days life tends to be on the stressful side. Lately, Dad has been using the following analogy: harvest is like a game of chess – we can’t just think about the next initial move, we have to think far in advance to at least the next ten moves. We’re starting to become quite proficient at this skill and we’re learning how to save trips and think further ahead.

Even with our small crew, we finished cutting our last field in Imperial, shuffled trailers around and loaded up all the equipment. Unfortunately, we had a much later start on the road than we had anticipated. Still, the move north went well with no breakdowns or blown tires but we did have to take many alternate routes due to road construction, where our wide loads would have not been able to make it through the narrow pathways.

Normally we travel from Imperial and pull straight into our farm yard and begin cutting our own wheat. However, this year we had a bit of a different game plan since we are working in the Chadron area, which we have not done for many years. Due to our late start from Imperial we pulled into our yard just at dusk and parked all of the equipment for the night. We stayed at home that evening and the next morning we continued the last 30 miles up to Chadron and began harvesting right away.


Loaded up
Loaded up in Imperial and ready to head north.

Trucker Brandon
Brandon gets ready to hop in the semi to pull one of the combines followed by a header.

Moving down the road
I lead the convoy down the road with the pickup and header. I find these side mirror pictures to be interesting because you get to see things from my point of view!

Hooking up graintrailer
James backs up to one of the grain trailers so we can hook it up.

Dollying trailer
I crank up the landing gear on the grain trailer as James goes to hook up all of the hoses.

Opening extensions
Brandon puts up the grain extensions on his combine. When we load the combines on the trailers we put the extensions down so they aren’t damaged during the move and so the load stays short as possible.

Unloading tractor
James directs Brandon as he backs off the tractor and grain cart from the trailer.

Megan can be reached at All Aboard 2011 is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.


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