Back to the wheat harvest. Each morning, crews get up at daybreak and clean the combine. Now combines are not some small piece of machinery you can just run to the car wash. They are massive, expensive pieces of diesel-powered computers that must process massive amounts of straw to get a few kernels of wheat for consumption. Each morning the combine crew must open up inspection hatches and use air compressors to blow out the wheat dust from the previous days work. And if you have ever watched a combine at work in the field, you know they create a HUGE amount of dust – 50′ plumes of wheat dust and dirt flying in the air behind them. All that dust must be blown out of the engine, intake manifold, and spinning machinery inside the combine. This takes two people approximately 2 hot, dusty, dirty, sweaty hours of work before the day’s harvest can begin. In addition to cleaning the combine, crews must fuel the monster, clean air filters, adjust belt tensioners, and inspect and repair any damage from the previous day.
This is done every morning before the day’s work even begins. Then after waking up at 6 am to clean the combine, they must work until midnight or later actually harvesting the wheat.
Long day during harvest.