What is a Grain Elevator Worker?

A grain elevator worker, or operator, purchases grain from farmers either for cash or at a contracted price, determining the grade, quality and weight of grain delivered. They then sell futures contracts for the same quantity of grain, usually each day. These workers are sometimes called managers or superintendents.

They profit through the difference between the local cash price and the futures price that occurs at certain times of the year. The grain elevator worker maintains records for farmers and companies and are employed by licensed grain elevator companies.

What does a Grain Elevator Worker do?

A grain elevator worker, or operator, purchases grain from farmers either for cash or at a contracted price, determining the grade, quality and weight of grain delivered.

Grains are small, dry, hard seeds harvested for human or animal consumption. After a farmer has harvested his crop, he loads up the dry grains onto a truck to be transported to a grain elevator. Grain elevators are large storage silos, several stories high, that are used to house massive quantities of grain. 

When a farmer arrives on site, he first takes his truck to the scale. Here, a grain elevator worker will take a sample to test the weight of the grain, moisture content, and check for any foreign material. Then the truck continues to the work floor where the grain is dumped from the rear of the truck into a grated pit below. From the pit, the grain is hoisted upward by a continuous belt with buckets attached. The spout directs which bin the grain will fall into. 

The truck then drives back onto the scale so the amount of grain delivered can be measured. To complete the transaction the farmer is given a scale ticket that has the number of bushels brought to the elevator. The farmer can immediately sell to the grain elevator worker, or he can pay a storage fee until he chooses to sell. 

Working with a grain elevator can be dangerous work. With such huge quantities of product being unloaded, there is sometimes a chance of getting caught in the flow of grain to the storage containers. Sometimes the machinery will get jammed, and workers will have to use poles or hand tools to remove damaged materials. It is important that grain elevator workers follow all safety precautions and guidelines in order to decrease their chances of getting injured.

Are you suited to be a grain elevator worker?

Grain elevator workers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of a Grain Elevator Worker like?

Grain elevators are usually built in locations where it is relatively easy to transport grain to the facility, for instance rural areas that are close to railroads, riverbanks, or a section of flatland. Unfortunately, it is possible for explosions to take place in grain elevators. Grain is highly combustable, and a spark from the machinery can ignite the entire silo, and cause an explosion from the pressure. Being a grain elevator worker is a very physical job that requires a person to think quickly on their feet if any problems arise.

Grain Elevator Workers are also known as:
Grain Elevator Operator