That there is a John Deere 7760 Cotton Picker, which harvests the stuff your T-shirt is made out of and wraps it up in fat, cylindrical modules comprised of several bales.
Here's an introductory look, before we get to the cooler video:As it wraps the cotton in that recycleable yellow LLDPE (that's linear low-density polyethylene) film, it adds a little lip at the edges.
That lip, combined with the tendency of cotton to stick together, is enough to keep the cotton from falling out. And each portion of wrap cleverly contains its own embedded RFID tags, so the modules can be tracked.
As the machine finishes combing through a field, what you wind up with is this:
The 7760 is a marvel of design and engineering, but there is one thing it was not designed to do. Here's the thing: The modules need to be shipped, of course, and they're 8 feet wide and 7.5 feet in diameter. And although we think of cotton as light, fluffy stuff, these modules weigh a whopping 5,000 pounds apiece. As truck drivers (or anyone who watches Shipping Wars) knows, one of the cardinal rules of hauling heavy things is that you don't want them rolling around; that shifts weight within the trailer, and if you take a corner with 20,000 pounds rolling to one side, that's enough to flip your big rig on its side. Yet the cotton picking machine deposits the bales the way they're rolled, which is curved-side down.
Therefore truck drivers, or at least the ones who work for the Slaton Co-Op Gin in Texas, have figured out a clever way to get them on the truck in the correct position for shipping:
Alluva sudden my city-slicker parallel parking skills don't seem so impressive.