This morning when we arrived at work at 6:30, we learned that our piler was down. There is something called a Lovejoy on it which sounds like it should be a wonderful thing, but that’s what was broken. While the mechanic worked on it we cleaned the piler and greased it until there wasn’t really anything more we could find to do on it, so we went to our cars and waited…and waited…and waited.
After six hours of waiting, the piler was back up and running. We had maybe an hour or two of piling beets before Todd said it was too warm and he was going to call off the farmers. But first he wanted to back the piler up and get it straightened out a little better. As he was backing us up, a chain broke on one of the tractor wheels. About that time six trucks full of beets pulled in. They apparently hadn’t gotten the word that we were stopping for the day.
Todd was going to go ahead and allow them to go through, but first he had to fix that tractor chain so we could pull back up to the beet pile. He got it put together with the help of our guys and then started pulling forward.
Unfortunately, the soil under the new piler location wasn’t very solid and the tires began to sink in. In Todd’s attempt to get himself out of the hole, the stress caused the afore-mentioned chain to break again. This time the farmers witnessed the whole thing. They all got out of their trucks and looked the situation over. I saw a couple of them with a big sledge hammer pounding the pins back into the links.
Then there was the issue of the sunken piler. The farmers mentioned that one of the nearby farms had a tractor big enough to pull the piler, so they called the farmer and he brought his tractor over. The farmer had to be sitting ten feet off the ground in the seat of the tractor, it was so big! They attached a heavy chain between the tractor and the piler and he got the piler out of the hole. But then he had to pull the piler backward in a direction where it could be lined up where Todd wanted it, and then it had to be pulled forward again.
While all this was going on, I was doing cleaning in areas I normally couldn’t get into. That piler was cleaner than I think it’s been since this season started.
I noticed that the “Bag Lady” was an hour late. She is the most amazing woman! She comes to pick up our sample bags. Those things can weigh twenty five to thirty five pounds, at least, and I’ve seen her haul two of them at a time, one under each arm! She was late because at the last site she had picked bags up from, she had somehow managed to lock the skid steer keys inside the skid steer. She uses the skid steer to get the bags from our trailer to the back of her truck, so she was stuck till they could find another set of keys for her.
Finally the piler was back in location and we allowed those six trucks to go through and dump their beets. We were at work from 6:30-6:30 and only piled beets for an hour or two in that whole time. The farmers were unhappy, my co-workers were disgruntled, and I’m sure the higher-ups were on Todd’s case as well. Sometimes it’s lonely at the top!