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Discussion Starter #1
I live in central indiana and I haven't seen a red grain truck in years. used to be, they used the grain trucks for corn and semis for soybeans as they had to haul it to indy, couldn't take it to anyplace locally.

now, all i see are semis, no grain trucks. they still take the corn to local grain bins so that's not the reason. did farmers just decide since they had to own the semi anyway, use it for both soybeans and corn and do away with the extra expense of grain trucks?

just curious :) guess I should just ask the guy that farms my parents farm. been outside for most of the last month every day practicallly building a storage shed and see a dozen or more semis a day from the various farms around but not a single grain truck!

mel-
 

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Cost of ownership. It requires about the same money to insure, fuel, & pay a driver for either truck. The semi is much more ecconomical in the long haul - or short - for the bigger combines & farm sizes.

--->Paul
 

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they do here..... see them all the time
 

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We have 3 red trucks and one purple one. They are a pain in the neck, but they are paid for.

Maybe it's further to the elevator where you are so they use semis.

Jena
 

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Somewhat related to available labor also. Locally the offical unemployment rate is 6 point something percent, and unoffical unemployment rate may be closer to 10%. However, farmers simply can't find labor willing (and trustworthy enough) to drive small grain trucks for only a couple of weeks during harvest season. Bigger rigs means fewer driver (labor) requirements.

(And a major secondary factor is reliability. Seems like today labor actually showing up for work is very iffy. Do you want full trucks, no drivers and rain in the forecast?)

Ken Scharabok
 

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I never heard about farmers only hauling soy beans in semis. In the past around here they could haul their grain to the local mills in a couple gravity wagons behind a tractor. That was when they only farmed about 300 to 500 acres. The mills hired custom grain haulers who weren't farmers to haul it to the big grain companys who were several mills away. Some went to Chicago (125 miles) Too far to be practical even with a straight truck.
Now around here the small local elevators have nearly all gone out of business. Most farmers now farm from 3000 to 5000 acres. These guys mostly have storage bins at there farm that may hold 50,000 bushels with dryers hooked to the bins which have slotted floors to alow the air to go up through the corn from the bottom. 3000 acres of corn should make over 450,000 bushel. They have to haul all of it at least once to a large grain company. A straight truck that will only haul 300 to 500 bushels is like trying to whip a bear with a switch.
The farmer who is farming my farm now has two combines running that have 8 row corn heads on them. They can pick a 1000 bushel semi load in 8 minutes. They have an 850 bushel grain cart that they pull behind a four wheel drive tractor which runs beside the combine to unload the combine hopper into the cart without stopping. They pull the cart to the road and dump it into a semi. at the same time one of the combines dumps his hopper into the semi, and the semi is out of there.
Straight trucks, or red grain trucks have been out grown.
 

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Uncle Will is right on! But we still see a lot of grain trucks here because in general we have smaller fields than the eastern part of the Dakotas. I doubt you see many grain trucks there. Here when you are combining you use anything you can to get it to the bins. We own an old "red one" for hauling junk. Old ones in good shape still go well at auctions. And as for finding help, you need a CDL for the semi's but temp help like my DH don't usually have one (or they would be long haul trucking). So grain trucks do a lot of the trucking out of the fields to the bins still. The really big operators usually have enough dependable hired help to just use the big equipment. Or they are a family operation with enough home grown help.
 

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I'm in West Central Indiana. Tonight, a guy at my church was talking about getting run off the road on the way to the elevator while he was driving a grain truck full of beans. The truck fell over in the ditch and dumped a lot of the beans. It sounds like he had a lot of fun getting everything set right again, but he wasn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the farming family I am most familiar with is my bil's family. his brother is farming my parents farm.

over the 30 years I've known them, they've always used family to drive the grain trucks (including my sister whom I rode with a few times).

I don't know how typical they are for this area but he is number 3 for our county on the subsidy site list.

anyway, we have a grain elevator right here in town, maybe 5 miles tops from the farm. and there is another in the next town north of here 5 miles.

the only farmers that would be more than 5 miles from an elevator would be in the southern part of our county and they wouldn't be travelling down my road.

ever since I've known anything about it (only when my sister married into this farming family 30 years ago) they have said there is no elevator to take soybeans to closer than indy which is a 45 minute trip one way, thus they used semis because they could haul so much more.

maybe it is just a local thing? someone started using semis only and everyone else had to do the same thing?

storywise: my sisters mil used to drive a grain truck until about ten years ago when she took a curve too fast and tipped it over spilling a whole load and totalling the truck! now she justs brings supper ;)

I'm just going to have to ask locally, just to satisfy my curiosity!

mel-
 

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Discussion Starter #12
uncle Will in In. said:
They have an 850 bushel grain cart that they pull behind a four wheel drive tractor which runs beside the combine to unload the combine hopper into the cart without stopping. They pull the cart to the road and dump it into a semi. at the same time one of the combines dumps his hopper into the semi, and the semi is out of there.
Straight trucks, or red grain trucks have been out grown.
uncle, this is how they did my parents farm too. I just noticed it this year, the last time I paid any attention, they brought the grain to the cart sitting in the corner of the field!

totally off topic: boy, the cardinals have dug themelves a big hole! sixth inning and time is running out !

mel-
 

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looks like the curse on the Red Sox is over....blah!

Well around here we have a HUGE grain elevator, owned by Consolidated Grain & Barge here in SouthEastern Illinois.

Bigger the Farm the Fewer "grain trucks" and more semis.

and Farms are not getting smaller, my Grandpa quit farming in '97 because of the low prices(and age) you see, he only farmed 90 Acres and some of that was in bottomland.

But I CANNOT BELIVE MY EYES at these combines people buy, I know a Farmer that has THREE CAT COMBINES



THOSE THINGS ARE MOSNTERS.

and I see plenty of Grain trucks still bringing grain to the elevator, and I even seen a tractor pulling 2 gravity feed wagons to the elevator, so they are out there, but there are not many!
 

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In good corn with enought grain carts & semis, the biggest Lexion can go through 6000 bu an hour.

Your grandpa's farm, if all in corn, could be harvested in 3 hours with one combine.

I'm running a smaller farm myself, sure is a changing world. :)

--->Paul
 

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rambler said:
In good corn with enought grain carts & semis, the biggest Lexion can go through 6000 bu an hour.

Your grandpa's farm, if all in corn, could be harvested in 3 hours with one combine.

I'm running a smaller farm myself, sure is a changing world. :)

--->Paul
I'm just surpised, you know, Cats are not CHEAP! I'm surpised anyone actually uses Cat combines, I figured the Big time farmers would all use John Deere implements.
 

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Only the very small farmers use grain trucks or grain wagons. Everyone else is using semi's. Its basicly a quanity of scale. Every trip from the field to the mill cost, cost in fuel and cost in manpower. The larger the load per trip, the more you save.

Mel- said:
I live in central indiana and I haven't seen a red grain truck in years. used to be, they used the grain trucks for corn and semis for soybeans as they had to haul it to indy, couldn't take it to anyplace locally.
 

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There are alot of them out here!!! Also every truck and semi available will work in the beet harvest to get some extra money. They haul the beets from the farm to the dump sites and back, beans and corn too. People around here use anything they can to get the harvest to the processers.
 
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