Janel: Three-thousand mile week

Holdrege, Nebraska—I’ve traveled over three thousand miles recently hauling equipment to our first stop on our wheat harvest run. The wheat looks so green and lush almost the whole way down. I enjoy the trips going south for wheat harvest. I hauled a combine and header down the first trip. I hauled a tractor and grain cart down the second trip. The third trip I’ll drive a truck or a pickup with a camper behind. On the trips back home, my dad and I travel together. It’s interesting to hear his stories on harvest over the years. For instance, he bought a brand new single cab pickup without air conditioning for $3,500 in Cordell, Oklahoma. He showed me the street where my grandpa, Jerry, stayed in a hotel while on harvest. He said when they used to buy combines at Greensburg, Kansas, they would road them all the way to Cordell. Someday soon I am going to write a harvest book and tell all the stories I know.

The hiring a crew has been interesting this year. I like to hire the twenty-something year olds that are ambitious to go experience the wheat harvest where they can gain so much driving experience and see a lot of country, farms and land. There is plenty of opportunity out here in rural America but so many are collecting a government check (due to COVID-19, unemployment, welfare, etc.) or even living homeless (I see hitchhikers quite often as well as homeless in the cities). Harvest is quite the opportunity. If you know of someone needing work or wanting to go on harvest please apply online at www.schemperharvesting.com or contact me. I’ll give the chance and opportunity to the right person but an ag background and a Class A CDL with experience is preferred and a wanting-to-work attitude is definitely necessary. I am so excited to start cutting wheat this summer and just being out in the field is a privilege. I wish I could easily find employees with the same ambition—I know they are out there.  Sometimes it takes networking to find them.

On May 26, I’ll be attending the US Custom Harvesters, Inc. Texas Safety Day meeting in Wichita Falls, Texas. We’ll be taking our whole crew. There will be meetings on hauling safely, a truck walkaround, combine safety, night work and heat stress, as well as first aid. Lunch is provided, too, and I’m excited to attend. US Custom Harvesters, Inc. is one of our All Aboard Wheat Harvest sponsors this year and I’m proud of the organization for hosting this upcoming event. This is an excellent learning opportunity about safety on harvest. It is super useful knowledge because people can get hurt working around the machinery. The equipment is much bigger than we are so safety education is a must for all of the harvest crews. Then on May 27 my crew will also get to attend the MacDon Custom Harvest Kickoff Breakfast in Vernon, Texas.  I’m sure they’ll introduce the support team members and discuss the new headers and features and also the whereabouts that the MacDon Support will be located on the harvest run.

I hope to have a wheat harvest report by June 1. The weather is cloudy and cool with chances of rain nearly every day. Everyone please be safe and as always best of luck.

Janel Schemper can be reached at janel@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal.   

The first trip down I hauled a new s770 John Deere combine and 40-foot MacDon header. My dad hauled an s780 combine and MacDon header. We also had two employees that drove a pickup and a truck with double grain trailers.

The cloudy weather has been hanging around for over a week now.

We had sunshine for just a little while. The wheat looks so pretty as it is green and lush almost the whole way!

Excellent looking wheat crop in southern Kansas.

We drove 400 miles the first day and then parked at dark at a truck stop in Oklahoma. We got up early the next morning and drove 80 more miles to the destination.

When we arrived at the cotton gin we had to wait for it to quit raining so we could unload the combines. The wheat is plenty green yet due to the cloudy and cool weather.

I also hauled 15 loads of soybeans last week. There are four pits at this plant and sometimes I get the messiest pit because they know I’ll clean it up. Part of being a truck driver and unloading your own truck should be taking responsibility for making sure all of the grain actually goes in the pit.

Miss Moo loves cloudy and cool weather! ?

She enjoys seeing cows.

She was along during the local hauling however when I hauled the wide loads south she stayed home.

On my second trip south, I hauled a John Deere tractor and Brent Avalanche grain cart.

My brother, Jared, and I both hauled tractor and grain carts this trip.

I enjoyed seeing beautiful wheat field after wheat field on my 480 mile trip south and then all the way back north towards home.


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