Monday, February 1, 2016

Army Truck 101

With the departure of our long-time farm employee, I got a crash course in Army Truck Driving 101. Wait, let's not say "crash course" when we're talking about vehicles.
In a former life, it was an Army truck. We purchased it and had the feed wagon added to the back in 2014.

One of the biggest challenges for this new job was getting in the truck. Hard to believe, but I'm not as nimble as I once was. And my legs are a lot shorter than Randy's.

So the first stop was the local lumberyard to purchase a small step ladder.
The second obstacle to the successful completion of this new task is fearing unwanted passengers. (And, no, I am not referring to my instructor, Randy.) Finding mouse poison packets scattered along the floorboards does not inspire a lot of confidence that I won't have a stowaway. (That actually happened in a grain truck during wheat harvest once upon a time. I got the truck stopped and then stood outside the door, shouting, trying to get the mouse to leave the premises. Thankfully, no one but the mouse witnessed my unusual method of evicting an unwanted passenger.)
To start the feeding session, I had to zero out the scale. We add grain to the bottom of the feed wagon. Randy augered it in from our storage bin. I watched the scale, and I moved the truck forward a few feet at the 200-pound mark and again at the 400-pound reading. And in our high-tech operation, I honked the horn when the scale got to 600 pounds. (My auger operator can vaguely be seen through the dusty rearview mirror below.)
It takes awhile for the auger to empty, so I ended up with 750 pounds of grain. 
It requires a little maneuvering to make the turn into the pasture. To make sure we don't end up in Peace Creek, we come in from the north.
These photos were obviously taken on a different, sunshiny day!
There are no guard rails on that wooden bridge, you know!

 Once in the pasture, I parked the truck just outside the trench silo.
Two scoops of silage were added on top of the grain already in the truck.

With the silage loaded, the scale registered 2,655 pounds.
Then, I drove to another pasture to fill the bunks for our feeder cattle's dining pleasure. That morning, they were out grazing on wheat, so I didn't have to dodge cattle at the bunks - probably for the best on my maiden voyage.
Mission accomplished! I even got the truck parked back in the shed where I could use the step ladder to get back down. Beginner's luck? I guess I'll find out.
As it turns out, my lessons may not have been needed. We hired someone who starts today. But knowledge is never wasted. I'll be ready if called into action!


  1. Congratulations on a successful mission. What an enormous vehicle. I loved the contrast between the old dashboard and the modern computer attached.

    1. I grew up driving grain trucks, so I came with experience. However, it is further off the ground!

  2. Well done!! You will be an old hand at it in no time at all. Loved all your photos.

    1. Thanks, Lynda. Actually, it's easier to drive than a lot of trucks, since it's automatic. It's just big!

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  4. What a great army truck you use for the job. Thanks for sharing the great photos of your day. Have a wonderful upcoming weekend.
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