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Beet Harvest Day 12 – Everyone Is Tired But Still Moving

Beet Harvest Day 12 – Everyone Is Tired But Still Moving

Morning Conditions:

🌡️ Temperature: 35 degrees F

☀️ Weather: Sunny

💨 Wind: 5 – 10 mph

Fatigue is Setting In Hard

View out of a van windshield of the sugar beet piles.
View from the Van

On our 9th 12 hour shift in a row, the signs of fatigue are setting in hard. The ground crews seem to have more and more caffeinated beverages in hand. The truckers are chain smoking menthol cigarettes to stay awake. Even the Ag’s look exhausted.

Our safety meeting this morning discussed the upcoming weather. While the temperatures warmed the past few days, the clouds rolling in during the afternoon kept us open.

Now and the next few days, the forecasts show a distinct lack of clouds. They’re predicting to possibly have one or multiple days of heat shut downs coming up.

A collective sigh of relieve swept the circle this morning. Everyone is ready to go get groceries, do laundry, sleep, and do nothing.

The Laundry Trailer Was Hopping Last Night

Speaking of laundry. We thought last night we could sneak in some laundry. Turned out we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

We did get our two loads in just in time.

When I went to change them to the dryer, quite the crew was gossiping in there. The yard up here is divided into 3 portions: north, middle, and south. In the laundry trailer, the middle and the north were swapping stories of the most fatigued truck drivers.

The middle told us about super young teenager who literally fell asleep on the end dump (where they dump the beets into the piler). Since you don’t need a CDL, anyone with a valid driver’s license can drive a farm truck (dump truck) full of beets.

Luckily, they radioed it in and got him to go home and get some sleep.

It’s *Almost* Too Hot

Two giant sugar beet piles at the harvest: one deep freeze pile on the right, regular pile on the left.
Regular Pile Left, Deep Freeze Pile Right

Around 2pm, we started seeing the higher ups taking the temperatures of beet roots as they get dumped onto our piler.

Since we’re not a deep freeze pile, our pile can only have beets between 30-55 degrees.

They were sending beets with root temperatures between 55-65 degrees to the deep freeze pilers on the outsides.

This afternoon heat had us all down to t-shirts for a few hours. We had a bit of a lull in trucks coming in during the afternoon heat as well.

The growers were having some trouble getting beets out of the fields. We knew by seeing beets with more and more green tops. They weren’t quite to the salad level, but we did get the signal to swing the boom and disperse them in a pile a few times.

Upcoming Forecast

We’re all watching the weather like crazy since we have internet and we’re outside all day. Unlike when we’re thru-hiking, we can add significant huge comfy layers if it gets too cold.

We’ll see what it actually brings!

Evening Conditions:


🌡️ Temperature: 48 Degrees F

☀️ Weather: Full Sun all day

💨 Wind: 10 – 15 mph

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