Information and Experiences of a Harvest Abroad

S.Burke

Well-Known Member
The thought behind this thread is to share information and experiences to help people looking at doing harvest work abroad.

Stories from lads I knew that had done it and they’re experiences, were a great source of information for me so I’m sure this forum would be a great starting point for people who don’t know anyone local that’s done it.

So if any of you would like to share your experiences and tips for getting on well abroad fire away. But remember it’s not a place for bad mouthing, name bashing or slinging muck.

Cheers.
 

S.Burke

Well-Known Member
I’ve a big long story but I think I’ll just cut it down to this;
I went to Australia and this is my general advice

You can go it alone but I would advise going with someone or a group but make sure they are people you get on with, it can get claustrophobic and you want to know you’ll be able to have a laugh. If you go on your own it try to mix with other lads as you’re a long way from home and the worst thing you can do is exclude yourself.

Look up the countries visas through the government website.. Australia’s site is easy enough use and has all the info you need regarding visas.
http://www.immi.gov.au/Pages/Welcome.aspx

I would start looking / applying for jobs from here to get an idea of what people are looking for and the wage range – I used www.gumtree.com.au , www.seek.com.au and googled ‘Australian harvest contractors’ and 'Australian Harvest Work', (wages for example I was on 250 dollars + accommodation + food but that was in a fairly remote place and it does vary), you can go and then try get a job but if you don’t have the financial backing and means of support it can be stressful.

Make your cv to suit the job your looking for … without telling lies of course.

A good cv is only the start if you say you’re good with machines be able to talk the talk and know what you’re on about when someone rings.

Ask about the second year visa when you’re being interviewed, if they are willing to back you up for it.

If you want to do a bit of a holiday I would do the harvest work first to get the extra year visa and a few dollars. for one reason or an other I left it till the end and ended up not doing enough … even if you don’t want to stay 2 years the option is open to you if you change your mind.

Time your arrival in the country a week or so before the harvest or seeding seasons. This gives you time to get used to the weather and get over jet lag. If you know someone over there you might be able to stay with them but hostels aren't too bad either.

If you can, buy a comfortable car and make sure it has air-con (mid summer where I was got up to 48° C), also the freedom to move is very important,

If you don’t like a place, apply for jobs and move don’t get stuck working for someone that’s taking the p*ss.

You will get paddywhackery alright but you have to let go, water off a ducks back and all that (to a certain degree don’t let it get too out of hand) and depending on the type of people you’re working with you should be able to give what you get without going overboard of course.

listen to what your employer wants and what way he wants it done, their ways are different as they have to suit the climate.

There is a lot of dangerous creatures over there, but be safe not scared. Alerted to the fact that where you find rats here you may find something a whole lot different, so care is a must but as I say there isn't a snake/spider hanging out around every corner. In fact the only snake I seen was in the zoo. and only came across two spiders one red-back on the floor of the workshop and a huntsman on the floor of shower room in a hostel the latter met the sole of my boot and the first one I left to the aussie.


After that Enjoy it.

probably some stuff i missed but its a start
 

declanc304

Well-Known Member
Iv done the harvest in america for 3 years running. I went through ohio state university the first time and got sponsored the following 2 years. Some crews advertise for sponsorship visas for the first timers and do interviews before they make a decision on who to employ. Its a great experience to do and a great way to see the country and meet new people wages vary on experience and what crew your with. Most crews supply workers with most of the food theyl need


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diesel power

Well-Known Member
Iv done the harvest in america for 3 years running. I went through ohio state university the first time and got sponsored the following 2 years. Some crews advertise for sponsorship visas for the first timers and do interviews before they make a decision on who to employ. Its a great experience to do and a great way to see the country and meet new people wages vary on experience and what crew your with. Most crews supply workers with most of the food theyl need


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I only did the one year in America and I went through Ohio state uni as well. I worked with a custom silaging crew rather then a combine crew and it worked out really well as the boss was an English man and half the lads on the crew were English so we had similar sense of humour and whatnot so got on like a house on fire. Also paid by the hour much like here and overtime as well, great incentive to get out of the sack at 5am knowing you'd be well paid for it:thumbup:. It was up to us to feed ourselves when we were operating from the home base but when we were away the company paid for the lot including beer tab. Any students going abroad on something like this,, it means a lot to have someone like Ohio State organize all the paper work as well as introductions rather then going it alone.
 

declanc304

Well-Known Member
I only did the one year in America and I went through Ohio state uni as well. I worked with a custom silaging crew rather then a combine crew and it worked out really well as the boss was an English man and half the lads on the crew were English so we had similar sense of humour and whatnot so got on like a house on fire. Also paid by the hour much like here and overtime as well, great incentive to get out of the sack at 5am knowing you'd be well paid for it:thumbup:. It was up to us to feed ourselves when we were operating from the home base but when we were away the company paid for the lot including beer tab. Any students going abroad on something like this,, it means a lot to have someone like Ohio State organize all the paper work as well as introductions rather then going it alone.


How did you like the silage crew? I found ohio very helpful myself i mainly delt with john beardmore


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diesel power

Well-Known Member
How did you like the silage crew? I found ohio very helpful myself i mainly delt with john beardmore


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I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and the only regret I have is I didn't do like yourself and go back for another year or 2. We mainly operated in the same area so I got to know a lot of the farmers. The scale of the dairy farms there and just the machinery makes use look like rank amateurs here. Yeah John Beardmore was the man I remember in Pallashenry giving a talk on coming over to the states and I was the first to request a silaging crew.
 

podge

Well-Known Member
didn't venture to far only England just make sure who your dealing with through pms emails phone calls etc is the boss man and not the hired help or the go for:whistle:
first time going outta de country for work and the lad I dealt with was a muppet. he is still on here but I wont name or shame but I still have de photos and emails:thumbup::blushing:
 

declanc304

Well-Known Member
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and the only regret I have is I didn't do like yourself and go back for another year or 2. We mainly operated in the same area so I got to know a lot of the farmers. The scale of the dairy farms there and just the machinery makes use look like rank amateurs here. Yeah John Beardmore was the man I remember in Pallashenry giving a talk on coming over to the states and I was the first to request a silaging crew.


What year were you in pallas? I had nothing going here so i said might aswell go back to do a bit and know id be getting paid ontime


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truenut

Member
I did a sugar cane season in Queenland last year, interesting enough work, something different. The aussies are split down the middle when it comes to work ethic, some are red raw useless, and the rest are serious grafters. The guy I worked for was a grafter and ran a seriously efficient operation. Great crew to work for. The work was varied, going from full blown 16 hour days at the harvest, to maintenance days in the workshop to cultivating to digging drains to building roadways, never a dull moment. We got accommodation included, which was an experience. It was a portacabin which was comfortable and well kitted out with wifi and all the rest, but the bathroom was a seperate building next door which wasnt the best sealed place, which meant we had to share the bathroom with a carpet snake, who we effectionately named wallie. One night I was sitting on the shitter, listening to the cries of a toad being devoured by the carpet snake inside the cavity wall behind me!

But enough crap talk, more facts:
Queensland is very awkward because you need a haulout licence to haul cane, and to get this you need a queensland driving licence so you have to apply to the queensland transport authority for that.
Then you have to do a siding induction which you can do online and a driving test on a tractor, which cost $400 IIRC, test is a piece of piss if you have a fair idea what you're doing on a tractor. think this is the crowd I did mine with:
http://www.canegrowers.com.au/page/Industry_Centre/Careers/what-jobs/
http://www.mackaycanegrowers.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42&Itemid=2

Harvest is from June/July to November/December, weather depending!
I was getting accommodation provided and roughly $1500-2000 a week, depending on hours. Was out in the sticks, about an hour from Mackay city(which is a dump)
Pros:
-Subsoiling a 250 acre field with a magnum 285 and Autosteer
-Sitting on the veranda after a hard day in the sun, sipping on a few beers
Cons:
- Very isolated
- Snakes, and lots of them!
- Mossies





 
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nashmach

Well-Known Member
[MENTION=3409]truenut[/MENTION] you are nearly there now to be able to post photos [emoji106]
 

Big Truck

Banned
Anybody going on wheat harvest to USA this year?
Shaping up to be the worst drought since the 1930s dust bowl years!!

VAST acreages of wheat being "zeroed out" under crop insurances in Texas/Oklahoma and Kansas.
Custom Cutters going to be sitting with no work until they hit the Dakota's in late July by the looks of things!!
 

S.Burke

Well-Known Member
it seems a bit rough over there at the moment alright, poor feckers.

might have an impact on prices over here tho?

the US wouldn't be my first port of call anyway, the New Zealander i worked with in oz said that its an experience, but you wouldn't get rich doing it. but thats his opinion i suppose
 

Big Truck

Banned
it seems a bit rough over there at the moment alright, poor feckers.

might have an impact on prices over here tho?

the US wouldn't be my first port of call anyway, the New Zealander i worked with in oz said that its an experience, but you wouldn't get rich doing it. but thats his opinion i suppose

Depends on how busy and how many acres of work the Custom Cutter can find.
When I was over in 2002 my best month was $3700 for driving combine in bank for the month of August.
Some of the truck drivers from overseas on the H2A visa could reg put well over $4000month into bank as they were able to haul for BIG hours!!!
 
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