McKinley Huey, top left with sons Daniel, center, and Amos, returned to his home in Kenton, TN, and started Huey Farms at the end of World War II. He had farmed with his father prior to the war, and then in 1976 sons Amos and Daniel joined their father growing corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. Today, the Hueys farm over 6,000 acres around Kenton, the same area they’ve farmed for nearly a hundred years. McKinley passed away this May at age 101.
Q: How do you handle maintenance and major repairs?
A: In our own shop. We handle all our maintenance and most repairs. We send any internal engine repairs to the local International dealer, Tri-State International, in Union City, TN.
Q: What are the challenges you face with your maintenance program?
A: Time is our biggest challenge. In farming, an equipment breakdown during planting or harvesting can equal the loss of an entire crop in a field. We minimize this by doing a bumper-to-bumper inspection along with maintenance and repairs on an annual basis in the winter, when having the equipment down isn’t as crucial to our bottom line. This greatly reduces downtime during the spring, summer and fall. We put less than 10,000 miles per year on any of our trucks so other than constantly inspecting our equipment before, during and after use, staying on top of fluid levels and tire pressure and condition, we’re ready to roll with any of them when they’re needed.
Q: How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
A: Farming is hard on tires, with scraping them with tight turns, unseen hazards in the fields and so on. We try to get an entire season or two from a set, so we focus on the time not the miles.
Q: Do you stock any parts for your trucks or purchase as needed?
A: We are close to the International dealer, so we buy on an as-needed basis.
Q: How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck or trailer?
A: We replace when the cost of maintenance and repairs, along with its downtime, exceeds its usefulness.
Q: What are your specs for your trucks?
A: We look for International day cabs with Cummins engines with over 500,000 miles on them.
Q: What are the make and model(s) of the trucks and/or trailers you use in your business?
A: 2005 9400 International semi-tractor, 2006 8600 International semi-tractor, 2007 9200 International semi-tractor, two Drake Hopper bottom trailers, two 40-ft. dump trailers, two lowboy flatbed trailers to haul an excavator and bulldozer, and a 40-ft. flatbed for hauling farm chemical tanks.
Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
A: Farming is all about community, whether it’s other farmers, or the neighbors that live near and around you. So, number one, as our father taught us, we enjoy helping our neighbors. We also enjoy being stewards of the land we have been entrusted to keep. There is no greater joy than to put in the hard work required to prepare and plant a crop and then watch that crop appear and grow. Being a part of nature is both an honor and a privilege.
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