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Bad days happen, especially during harvest

Bad days happen, especially during harvest

There's always a bad day during harvest when it seems nothing goes right. Well, we just had ours.

Sheilah: "I can always tell what kind of day we're having when I hear the tone in Mike’s voice when he asks 'What're you doing?' And it's followed by 'I need you to go to and pick this up.'"

Mike: "I had just delivered a load of corn to a dairy farm, and stopped at the dryer to meet a serviceman who was fixing an auger. Before heading to the field, I noticed the alternator belts were gone from the dump truck.

"Sheilah didn’t have to work that day. I knew she'd like a trip to Rural King to pick up a set of belts."

Sheilah: "Yeah, I like trips to Rural King. I knew that rain wasn’t too far out, so I made sure I got the belts first – before the grocery store and bank."

A REAL TAIL-DRAGGER: The rear axle on Reskovac's combine gave out, splaying the wheels In opposite directions.

Mike: "While she went for the belts, I headed for the field to pick up the semi. Our helper, Bill, was running the combine while I delivered corn. Finally, Sheilah dropped off the belts – and lunch, which was a good thing because Bill was starving."

Sheilah: "A couple hours went by, and Mike called again in that stressed tone: 'The back axle just broke in half on the combine!' My first response was: 'That sounds expensive.' My second one was: 'Did you already call about parts?'”

Mike: "Well, no. I called you first."

Sheilah: "Hmm, well I don’t know how to fix it! So call someone that does."

Mike: "I spent the next 30 minutes making phone calls and texting pictures of the damage. It was going to be a real pain to fix. Nothing ever breaks in a field with easy access. Nope, it always breaks back over a hill in the middle of nowhere."

Sheilah: "About an hour later, Mike stopped at the house with the semi to pick me up. We had to get all the trucks moved home since the rain had set in.

"He showed me a picture of the combine. We talked about our options. Trying to weld it or finding a used one probably wouldn’t be the best for our situation, so we ordered a new one – definitely not the cheapest. But it was ultimately the safest choice. We don’t want it to happen again somewhere even more inconvenient."

Mike: "Like on the road. It was a bad day. But it was going to rain the rest of the week anyway."

The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read all their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist. This opinion is not necessarily that of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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