Christy: Combine clinic and wet conditions

Hello from Texas. Over the last two days, we successfully made it to our first stop. The trip down was mostly uneventful. I think this is the first time since I’ve been around that with 18 vehicles in a convoy stretching over half a mile, nose to nose, that we didn’t blow one tire. Over 875 miles.

The trip wasn’t without any problems. Truck 7’s alternator wasn’t charging and losing voltage. After a few stops and a few charges, Paul finally discovered the starter that was replaced this winter had one tiny wire that wasn’t connected properly.

While pulled over on a thankfully pretty decent shoulder, Zoey couldn’t stay in the truck. She had to check it out, and see what’s going on. As Paul and a few of the guys were huddled under the hood, Patrick was holding two alternator belts. Zoey took one and started hula hooping. It was pretty cute. I love that she wants to be a part of what’s going on, and hope it stays that way.

Besides that, it was a good trip. It was great to finally see the stretch of Plains from Iowa, through Nebraska, Kansas, and finally Oklahoma to northern Texas. The wheat in Kansas looks beautiful, really lush and green. As we moved into Oklahoma, we could see the progression of change in maturity. The crops look good. Now, if we can get the weather to cooperate. Unfortunately, we’re looking at a good chance of rain for the next couple days. It’ll be a few days before we can sample.

Before we took off, we had the great pleasure of hosting Jesse Williams, a Case IH combine product specialist, to our shop for a combine class. For two hours, Jesse educated us on the in’s and out’s of our 8250’s operating systems. A lot of helpful information was taught, and will hopefully make a difference when our new operators begin operating.

Since Case took time to visit us, we decided to treat them with some chops grilled on the Case IH Rotor Smoker. A new cooker for the crew this year, the Rotor Smoker was built by Welker Farms and Tony Fast from Montana made from a Case combine rotor. The grates inside even score your meat with the Case IH brand if you put them on just right! I think our guests enjoyed it.

Next week we’ll have time for all the guys to attend the 2021 U.S. Custom Harvesters Texas Safety Day meeting right here in Wichita Falls. I feel that you can never go over safety procedures enough. It’s incredible how quickly accidents can happen and how a simple situation can turn dangerous in a heartbeat.

I will say that as it looks right now, I think we lucked up on pretty nice crew. I can see many of these kids appear really capable of handling the job, and getting the work done. The hiring process took a really long time this year, so I’m glad we finally were able to round out a crew with all positions filled. It may not stay that way, as we all know, but we can rest easy at the moment knowing we won’t have a machine sitting empty.

That probably wraps up everything going on currently. I’m really glad we had a good trip down, and now if we can just get started cutting.

Christy Paplow can be reached at

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. 


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