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Beet Harvest Day 17 – Time to Deep Clean the Piler

Beet Harvest Day 17 – Time to Deep Clean the Piler

Morning Conditions:

🌡️ Temperature: 41 degrees F

🌤️ Weather: Mostly Sunny, Some Clouds

💨 Wind: 5 mph

The “Sugar Beet Science” Behind Which Piles Finish First.

Every time that no one knows the exact answer to why the higher ups tell us to do anything, it’s the “sugar beet science.” Basically, “I don’t know, that’s just what the boss says to do.”

Pilers 5 & 6 covered most of their concrete before pilers 7 & 8.

Because they apparently have the factory eat the beets of piler 6 first, they wanted the last beets out of the ground to go there. Basically, the dregs of what the growers came up with at the end of harvest.

That’s why they’ve combined our crew with piler 5’s crew for the past 3 days.

However, night shift managed to complete the pile on Piler 5.

Thus, our crews main job this morning is to deep clean the piler.

The Deep Clean of Piler 5

View from the top of a beet piler toward the operator booth and end dumps at the sugar beet harvest.
View from the Top Backward

We grabbed all of the flat shovels from Piler 6 and the ten of us began to deep clean Piler 5.

For safety, we went through the lock out procedure. First, the main power gets cut with a lever. Second, that level gets a scissor lock placed on it. Third, every person cleaning adds their own padlock to the scissor lock to lock it. Lastly, we all hit a button that would work if the machine had any power.

Two people harnessed up to clean the boom and the wheelbarrow. (See The Piler Explained for where these are located). They were both just high enough up without a hand rail that safety dictated a harness.

We cleaned the piler from the top down. The rest of us went up the stairs to the dirt hopper, dirt return, and the chain cabinets that keep it all moving.

By cleaning, I mean we used flat shovels to scrap off mud, beet debris, and excess oil and grease.

Sometimes, we had to hack it the thicker mud over and over again.

We cleaned for two hours and then decided we needed an hour break for all of us.

Deep Clean Round #2

Inside of a beet piler before a deep clean.
We Had to Scrap the Mud Off

Our foreman came over and had us unlock to turn the machine on after our break.

We ran the giant mud clumps and loose sugar beet debris out of the machine, over the boom, and onto the ground.

Then, he brought the loader up to the dirt return and we ran it right into the loader bucket.

As he left he said, “Now, lock back out and get the good details.”

All of us looked at each other and shook our heads.

One person from 5’s crew said, “Don’t forget…he was military…he has a different definition of deep clean.”

We all grabbed tools and found bits and pieces here and there for over an hour.

By then, all of us were starving, so we went to eat lunch.

And the BEET Goes On

Laptop computer on a lap desk in a converted van blogging.
Blogging and Instagraming During Breaks

After the mechanics gave us the a-okay on our cleaning job, we unlocked it and waited for further instructions.

One instruction came down to Mona to get everyone together to make a beet-themed dance video. Then, came some mumbo jumbo about a tradition of sorts associated with it.

Mona came up with the idea and put me in charge of filming and editing it. 🎬

We used the combined crews from Pilers 5 & 6. Through some persuasion, we managed to get J the Greaser and our Foreman to make an appearance.

I had never edited a video to the beat of a song before and wow that was a challenge!

Karma helped me make the beat markers when I got really frustrated.

See the product of Mona’s vision and my editing ⬇️

Evening Conditions:


🌡️ Temperature: 58 Degrees F

🌤️ Weather: Mostly Sunny, Windy

💨 Wind: 15 – 25 mph

Beet Harvest Day 18 - Stretching it Out For a Weekend - Traveling Nature Journal

Saturday 21st of October 2023

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