Opinion: Craftsmen of the fields and pit are flat out as nature plays catch-up
What springs to mind when you think of a skilled craft? Fine art, precision engineering, needlework, maybe plastic surgery? I doubt that tractor driving would come high on the list.
But, last week, as contractor Leeson Stanley brought in our silage, I saw craftsmen in action.
When the team landed into the yard before 7am, the rigout - three Deutz tractors and Broughan trailers (all coloured green), a 181 JCB loader, and a Claas harvester- was spotless and had obviously been checked out overnight, even though they are working right up until 11pm. That takes some level of effort and is a sure sign of pride in your job.
An indication of the sophistication and value of the harvester is that it contains a metal detector that is sensitive enough to be triggered by even a few inches of wire.
Leeson himself was driving the harvester and, as he started off, a tractor and trailer unit fell into stride alongside, the pick-up was engaged and the spout swung over the trailer.
They moved off side by side, like a couple dancing, touching only at the fingertips, in perfect harmony.
When a trailer was full, the transition to another was seamless.
It was mesmerising watching their speed, power and grace.