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We're waiting on the Farm Babe. A couple of curious truckers came over to chat with Brian about what he is hauling.

Sherry: We’re getting equipment ready

Southeast Texas—It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on another year of our fall cotton harvest.

Hi y’all. It’s Sherry Zimmerman from Bishop, Texas, with Zimmerman Farms. We run two combines in the summer, four cotton pickers in the fall, and trucks all year long. This is the 28th year of custom harvesting for Zimmerman Farms, but my 25th. We are a family-run operation, our children Wailynn and Wyatt, 15-year-old twins; Wesson, 13-years-old; Whitleigh, 11-years-old; my husband, Brian; and myself do all of the day-to-day operations. We are the harvest crew. When we need help, David Zimmerman, my father-in-law, and Daryl Moseley, a family friend, help us out.

Our cotton harvest equipment consists of four round-baler cotton pickers. We have two 7760s and two CP690s. Wailynn and Wyatt drive the CP690s and Brian and Daryl drive the 7760s. Brian is begging me to get in a CP690 so that he can be on the ground working on breakdowns or hauling cotton to the gin. We will have to wait and see … maybe this is my year to jump in the seat of a cotton picker. Ha. I will certainly keep y’all posted.

Telehander and tractor with bale spear. We haul them on the step deck trailer we use to haul the cotton bales.

We began moving equipment the second week of September. First, we hauled out the telehandler and tractor with the bale spear. The telehandler is used to load the cotton bales onto our step deck trailer to haul the cotton bales to the gin. The tractor with the bale spear is used to move the cotton bales that the cotton pickers put together out of the field so the telehandler can get to them easily to load them on the trailer for transport.

Surprisingly, we had some time between hauls. We decided to let our kids dove hunt in the back yard. And I’m glad we did because they had a great time. They limited out three days in a row. Little things like this make my mama heart happy, and letting them have a few more fun days before the real work begins.

It is now Sept. 11, now the real work begins and there will be no more breaks unless the wet stuff falls from the sky. We moved our camper and service truck to central Texas. This is where the cotton pickers have been sitting since last year. We had a failed cotton crop at home, so there was no need to haul them home to Bishop, Texas.

We arrived to our cotton pickers and started the ones that started and jump started the ones that didn’t. We aired up several tires on the cotton pickers and changed out a couple tires on the removable gooseneck and hydraulic detach trailer.

Wyatt is hooking up the jumper cables on the batteries on the cotton picker that would not start.
Me, Brian, and Wailynn changing out the tires. And Wyatt is airing up the tires. (Courtesy photo.)
Wailynn’s swinging the sledge hammer to break the bead on the tire.

We loaded our first cotton picker and chained it down. We are ready to haul our first cotton picker to southeast Texas. I am the lead escort, Brian is hauling the cotton picker, and Daryl is the rear escort. Each job has its challenges, but we make an effort to be as well-orchestrated as we possibly can by communicating via two-way radio the entire trip.

Brian is directing Wailynn on the directions he needs to turn the tires to load the picker straight on the trailer.

This first haul was a fun one. We picked up the Farm Babe Michelle Miller. She got to hang out with us for a couple of days as we hauled equipment. We will share more in our next article. See you next time.

Sherry Zimmerman can be reached at sherry@allaboardharvest.com.

Farm Babe arrived. (Photo by Michelle Miller.)
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