Dan's harvesting operation started its inaugural season in 1992 with a John Deere 8820, a 1975 Kenworth cabover tandem and a 1975 Ford Louisville tandem. Dan began his harvesting career from scratch with sweat, hard work and faith in his ability to do quality work. Having a background in farming and harvesting of his own crops gave him the knowledge and experience to pursue this new business venture.
As each year went by, Dan updated the equipment to meet the needs of the customer as well as to stay current with technology and the many changes that took place in the John Deere combine industry. In 1997 Dan went from one 9600 to two 9600's and added the tractor and grain cart in the fall season. In the fall of 1997 Stephanie also joined Dan on the harvest run by leaving a full-time office job to take over the day-to-day business operations and setting up a computer to provide needed financial information as well as important items such as customer settlements, field yield reports, and many other aspects of business operations. She also provides good meals or an extra hand in the field which helps keep the harvest season running smoothly.
In 1999 our harvest operation took a different direction and we started working with Carl and Karen Figgins. This change was beneficial to both businesses and formed a long-lasting friendship. At the end of 2005 Carl & Karen decided it was time to stay at home after many years on the harvest trail. Before the 2006 harvest season began, we combined forces with Franke Harvesting Company from Covington, Oklahoma, so that we would be able to continue providing quality work and the ability to split up to cover as many of our customers as possible when the crop is ripe and the push to get it harvested is at hand. We work with the Franke crew primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. In 2007, we purchased a third combine and are currently still harvesting with three combines.
During the late fall and winter season we have our farm ground to get worked and ready for the next year. Dan also keeps busy with hauling grain and feed ingredients with one of our semi's and grain trailers. We have several semi and grain trailers that we will run is the winter also if we have a successful candidate for that position.
Out on the road we take three house trailers to stay in. Dan and Stephanie stay in one of the trailers which is the base for the harvest season. Stephanie provides any items that the crew would want for breakfast as well as providing lunches (either hot or cold depending on the schedule) and always hot supper meals whether in the field or at the trailer site. All company business is conducted at the base trailer.
The crew trailers provide sleeping room for up to eight crewmen in one and six crewmen in another, 2 bathrooms with showers, living area with satellite television, refrigerator, microwave and a full-size washer and dryer for laundry needs. Yes, the trailers are air-conditioned. We also provide basic necessities for our crew such as towels, sheets, blankets, pillows, toilet paper, laundry soap, paper towels, etc.
Skinner Harvesting operates three John Deere S670 Combines with John Deere 635 Draper headers. We also have various other heads for the combines such as 615 & 914 Pickup attachments, 612C Corn head, flexdrapers and sunflower headers. To support the combines out on harvest, we also run a John Deere 8285R Tractor and Brent 1196 Grain Cart with scales. To haul the grain to the elevator's or farmer's bins, we have two Kenworth T-800 semi-tractors, three Peterbilt 379 semi tractors, 1 Peterbilt 377 tandem truck. We have 40' to 42' grain trailers for the semi's a pup trailer for the tandem.
Our Harvest Route / Crops We Harvest
We will leave our home site of Emporia, Kansas after the first week in May, of course depending on the ripeness of the crop at our first stop in south central Texas. We always try to arrive at our first stop several days in advance so that everybody can get adjusted to the difference in temperature as well as learn the area for field and elevator locations. From Texas we will stop in Oklahoma on occasion if time permits before we have to be at our next scheduled stop in southwest Kansas. After leaving Texas and arriving in southwest Kansas the crew is always amazed by the huge difference in landscape, field size and ease of moving equipment from field to field. From Kansas we will move to Colorado and harvest in Colorado for approximately two weeks. This is a good chance for the crew to catch their first glimpse of mountains if they have never seen them before. The next scheduled stop is in central Montana. It will take approximately two days to travel between our stop in Colorado and Montana. We will harvest in three different locations while in Montana ending up in the northwest corner on the east side of the Northern Rockies. Our stay in Montana will be approximately two months depending on Mother Nature and crop conditions. After finishing in Montana, small grain harvesting (i.e. wheat, barley, canola, flax and others) will be completed for us.
Now the time of year is approximately the second week of September and part of us are traveling back to southwest Kansas and part of us are heading to South Dakota to begin our Fall harvest season of corn, soybeans, sunflowers and milo. The Fall harvest season will last approximately into late November, possibly early December, depending on the weather conditions.
We strongly urge anyone that can meet the following criteria to contact us for an experience that can only be found on the harvest run:
Honesty and responsibility
Possess good common sense judgement
SAFE working habits
Ability to work long hours
Good language and manners - we expect polite and courteous behavior around our customers as well as other crew members and general public.
Must be able to commit to a whole season from early May through November.
When traveling the harvest run we experience many different types of people and situations that will require the use of the criteria above.
When we are not in the field due to rain or the crop not being ready, we complete any maintenance work that needs to be done.
After all maintenance and service work is caught up, we try to relax but our main focus is harvesting crops for our clients.
Please contact us by phone or e-mail or fill out the application, print and send it to us.