So when I last left you we were leaving the field with the grain. There are a couple of options we have of what we can do with our grain. You can either take it to your own bins or you can take it to a grain elevator....ela-what....don't worry for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about I will explain what in the world a grain elevator is here in a little bit.
So lets get started.
Usually someone gets up on top of the bin and gives directions to the tractor driver. I don't really enjoy doing this, not because of the height, but because I'm never sure where they want the auger to stop and and I am terrible ad giving hand signals.
...then you pull the back gate handle up. By pull I mean yank cause it usually doesn't want to come at first, and usually when you yank the handle up you do it hard and the gate then is open too much and corn is flying out of there. Then you gotta close it back some, but not too far....is like kinda like the way I cook you want enough but not too much...you want as much of the corn coming out as you can get, but if you get too much the auger can't take it away fast enough and it ends up making a mess and if it's not open enough then it takes a lot longer to empty the truck.
So once you get the gate open it's usually tied up with some baling wire so it doesn't move....cause seriously we don't want have to go through all that again!
You are also gradually raising the bed of the truck as the grain is falling out. This helps the truck unload faster.
Once you have weighed in, if you are lucky you get to get straight on the pit and start dumping, but on the day I took this picture there was a bit of a line. There's Caleb over on the "pit" (the pit is where you unload into. instead of having something you have to move each time they have a pit area that the trucks can drive over.) under the tall skinny bin. Behind him you can see two more tucks, but I believe there were at least three and then me. So we had to just wait.
Since we had such a great corn crop down here this year all the smaller grain elevators were full so a lot more people had to start trucking to the one we were going to because it had plenty of room. Instead of bins it had these open storage buildings....which is just some big sheds...you can somewhat see them in the two pictures above. They are huge! In some parts of the country where they don't have enough building or bin storage they will actually place the grain out side in a big pile.
Here's a picture of what a pit looks like.
Once you have emptied your truck you go back and get on the scales to weigh out. And simple math tells you that...
the amount you weighed coming in - the amount you weight going out = the amount of grain you hauled.
So another quick run-though of how the elevator works you dump in the pit and from there the grain is moved with an auger, up to the top of the building / bin and then dropped in.
So it's pretty simple, but just some funny terminology if you didn't grow up around it.
|(Corn Harvest '09)|
The trucks never left the roads, cause if the did they weren't gonna make it too far.
(Corn Harvest '09)
This is also why 4-wheel drive is a must on our combines!
(Corn Harvest '09)
One thing that you can do to make the life of the grain cart operator a lot easier is getting up on the back of the trailer or up on top of the truck and tell them when its getting full cause it's kinda hard for them to see and it's a lot easier for them to spill a bunch of corn on the ground when they can't see.
When we have the grain cart the combine rarely has to stop. Usually the combine operator will throw the auger out when he is ready and the grain cart tractor will pull the cart under the auger and try to maintain the same speed as he unloads on him.