Shell & Ad's travels travel blog

Bunker @ Parks

Silo @ Parks


Silo @ Crooble

Crooble - home sweet home

Hi Ho my adoring fans and people who came across this page by accident while drunk looking for porn. This little section is about work. I know I know you are all glad that Evil Shell and me had to get of our asses to do some work. The problem is that any work that counts towards our second visa is stuff that Aussie don’t want to do. Once you have done the job you see why.

Our first yob was in Crooble. Crooble consisted of us (Shell and Me) a Memorial hall and a barn. That was about it. There was a house about 2Km away and that was our closest neighbour. It turns out that about 20 years ago there was a School and a village next to the train line, the train stopped coming and the village disappeared leaving the Hall and the grain corp Silo.

The staff for our first job was our boss on the sample stand, Shell on the weigh bridge and me on the hopper. The silo could take 30,000 tonnes. It works thus. (Warning reading the next paragraph might teach you something.)

A Truck comes in with anything from 12 to 40 tonnes. It is sampled at the sample stand where the variety, protein, moisture, relative weight, screenings and fall test are used to determine how good the wheat is. This gives it a grade i.e. APH2 (Australian Prime Hard Grade 2) this determines the price that will be paid for the product. The Truck then goes onto the weigh bridge (The Air coned Weigh Bridge) where it is weighed. After that it goes to the Hopper where it dumps the Grain along with a lot of pesticides and dust down the hopper. To be fair a lot of the pesticides and dust don’t go down the hole but sit in the air to be breathed in for yours truly. Now I'm not saying that Shell sitting in an air conned office had it easy, no not at all. I’m saying she had it very easy. I could spend up to 2 hours coughing or more once I lay down before I got to sleep at night and then once I coughed up a lump of solid Yellow something. Sorry I got distracted; anyway the truck then goes back to the weigh bridge where it is weighed again to see how much of its weight was grain. Then it goes off. We could be doing this for up to 14 hours at a time.

*Shell takes over the commentary*

The temperature whilst we were working was in the mid to high 20’s which when you are staying in effectively a tin hut gets very warm during the day and takes a very long time to cool down. So we brought a fan to help cool us down which has since then been one of our prised possessions! I just wished the air con from my weighbridge was also in our hut (*L* I call it a hut – but it was fairly large as per the pics). Oh and I would like to add I worked very hard in that weighbridge!  When there were trucks there of course then it was all listening to my iPod and reading my book!! We had an external toilet we had to use on site which to my dismay seem the local meeting point for god knows how many frogs – as soon as you would manage to get rid one 1 there would be another 2 in there! There was also meant to be snakes around the area but thankfully we didn’t see any of them especially as the nearest town was 45min drive away, which is where we had to go to get anything we needed such as groceries.

The work was fairly intermittent as we had lots of rain, typically it comes when you least want it. As such we had at least half week stretches at a time when all work would stop. The farmers wouldn’t bring their grain in until it had stopped raining and had had a few days to dry out otherwise the moisture content would be too high and they wouldn’t get much money for the crop at all. Whilst there we had the most magnificent storms with the lightening coming from all directions in the sky to the ground – which is kinda scary since we where living in a tin hut in the middle of nowhere!! Thankfully the silo was close to us and a lot taller so would have hit there first. The work in Crooble was then stopped as we had had too much rain and the crop had been downgraded too far for us to take any more in  All together now ahhhhhhhh poor things. This left Adam and I still needing at least another weeks work from somewhere to be able to apply for our second visas.

To cut a long story short about the trials of trying to find a new job (too late I hear you cry) after lots of phone conversations and broken promises of returned calls – we managed to find more work with Grain corp 7hrs south of us in a place called Parks.

Again I was on the weighbridge and Adam was on the hopper, though this time he learnt to do the sampling aspect of the job as well – which I’m sure he will add more about later. The Parks silo was somewhat larger than that at Crooble. Put it this way – we were on the night shift so a lot bigger as the pictures show. The first day was a very long one – the day before we were due to start work we were given the job – so on our starting day we had to sort out packing up all our stuff into our vehicle – get visa forms signed off and then drive the 7hrs south to our new place of work. We got into town at about 8pmish and went to work straight away without even finding ourselves anywhere to stay. We then worked our 11 hour shift finishing at 7am. Obviously at 7am in the morning the holiday parks are not really taking new arrivals not that we knew where they were located anyway so we had to find a lay-by so we could get a few hours kip in the back of the car whilst waiting for the tourist info office to open at 9. We then managed to get ourselves a place to get a few more hours kip. We then had to get up and sort out getting food in and back to work. I think both of us got all of 4 hrs sleep that day. It wasn’t helped by the fact it was really hot outside, the place loads of bugs crawling round in it – especially near poor Adam’s bed (the caravan only had single beds) and by the fact there were road works on the main road in front of the holiday park. Suffice to say when they few days we had paid for were up we found somewhere new to stay – but again that was a pain from the point of view we needed to sleep whilst we should have been moving. But the new place was a lot cleaner, quieter and had air con so it was definitely a good move.

We managed to work for a week and a half so managed to get the extra time we needed for our second visa. Most of the nights were really slow with an average of about 12 trucks coming through between midnight and 7am – so as you can tell lots more reading was done and listening to my iPod. Still we had more staff to work with so actually managed to have some conversation to help pass the time.

Anyway time to sigh off unless Adam wants to add anything further?????? – (maybe to come later )

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