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Beet Harvest Day 18 – Stretching it Out For a Weekend

Beet Harvest Day 18 – Stretching it Out For a Weekend

Morning Conditions:

🌡️ Temperature: 48 degrees F

☁️ Weather: Cloudy, Overcast

💨 Wind: 15 – 20 mph

Come in at 6:30 am Instead of 7:30 am

On 3 separate occasions yesterday, the bosses told us to arrive at work an hour early at 6:30am.

At 5:02 am, we called the hotline like we are instructed. It said day shift should arrive at 7:30 am.

We made the choice to go with what our foreman and Ag said instead of the hotline. Since the previous evening, they told us explicitly to reset our alarms, we went that direction.

And it’s a good thing we did. Our whole day shift did as well.

Since the crews on Pilers 5 & 6 only cleaned yesterday while 7 & 8 handled the smaller amount of truck traffic, we switched today. Our Piler 6 crew is working 7 and Piler 5’s crew is working 8. The crews of 7 & 8 will clean Piler 6 today.

The change in shift times is a form of stretching it out to get the good weekend pay. Certainly, we don’t have enough traffic to run two full 12 hour shifts this weekend. However, by shortening both day and night to 9.5 hour shifts, we all get the overtime and double time benefits.

The Last Two Growers

A dump truck unloading sugar beets into a beet piler.
Piler 8 Trying to Catch Up

The yard is staying open for the last 2 growers to get the last beets out of their fields. Thus, not many trucks have come in and we’re mostly standing around waiting for them.

Slowly, trucks have begun entering the yard, but most go to Piler 8 because that piler has more concrete left to fill.

While we all appreciate the extra weekend pay in overtime and double time, we’re trying to combat boredom. We’re still all grateful they’re stretching it out a bit for us.

Also, the trucks that do come in seem to have brand new drivers somehow. 🤷‍♀️

Last night, we heard about a truck with a canopy cover driving straight into the dirt return and taking the whole canopy off. 🤦‍♀️

Yesterday Marks 1-Month in North Dakota

While the they advertise making a lot of money harvesting beets in 2 weeks, we have been here for 1 month. They are definitely stretching it out.

Part of the reason for the longer time is that they need to train everyone in segments. Apparently, they gave us the first orientation day and training time. While we sat in the van and watched Netflix (and I blogged), others trickled into the campground for another week plus.

Secondly, part of the reason for a longer time span has to do with the yard where you work. Some piler stations have already finished. Our yard has simply not finished.


Moonrise over a sugar beet pile in North Dakota

For the past 3 nights, we’ve seen a beautiful moonrise over the piles of beets to the south.

I say beautiful, but I’m definitely choosing to ignore the factory steam floating by underneath it. Sometimes, I can crop that out of the photo, but it seems to nearly always make its way into the frame.

As we continue longer, the signs of seasons changing appear. The leaves in the campground feel a week or two ago. The days have shortened. Each shift we see more and more of the sunrise and more of a moonrise at night.

We’re hoping to beat a snowstorm out of here next week. ❄️ We’re all down stretching it out over the weekend, but we’re all checking the forecast constantly. None of us really wants to deal with snow right now.

Stretching it Out for Both Day and Night Shift

Blogging from inside a converted campervan.
Evening Blogging

To get us all through the weekend, we left at 4 pm when the night shift came in early. They would work until somewhere around midnight to 1 am.

They came in on time and relieved us.

This allowed us to shower quickly and actually cook dinner. 🤯 No more fast vegan quesadillas or instant soups!

Blogging in the day time! 👩‍💻 🥳

Evening Conditions:


🌡️ Temperature: 57 Degrees F

🌥️ Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Overcast

💨 Wind: 15 – 25 mph

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[…] Day 18 – Stretching it Out for a Weekend […]

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[…] ⬅️ Back to DAY – 18 Check Out Our Van ➡️ […]

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