So last week, I wrote about my husband's fall from the dryer, which, incidentally, happened last fall (oops – a clarification). Almost immediately, we received the following email from our friend, Todd, who farms in the greater Effingham area.
John and Holly,
I just read your blog about John's fall. Glad to hear you are ok. If you have a GSI dryer you should install the "WatchDog". It lets you monitor and adjust settings on the dryer from any computer connected to the internet or even from your Smartphone. It will also txt you whenever the dryer shuts down for any reason. It really is awesome! I have a laptop right next to the bed and just check it several times a night. I can also keep an eye on the dryer from the combine cab on the blackberry.
Just a suggestion to keep that boy home in bed at night...
Have a safe remainder of harvest.
We met Todd and his lovely wife, Lynelle, several years ago through the IFB Young Leader state committee, and have been friends ever since. Todd is a fan of technology, and in this case, I think he has a total winner. Robin Walters at GSI confirms that all of their Vision dryer controls are compatible with the WatchDog kit, which runs in the $2,000 range. You need an internet connection at the dryer site, but if you don't happen to live next to your grain setup, you can purchase a cell modem or run in a phone line. The latest version of WatchDog is completely web-enabled, which is what allows it to work off your Smartphone.
This reminds me, just a bit, of our "cow cam." I wrote several years ago about how we hooked up a remote camera in the barn to help us monitor nighttime calving from the living room television. I think checking the dryer from the laptop might be even better.