The paper presents a method for shorter evaluation of the fatigue damage done by an irregular sequence of loads. The method looks first for the largest overall range from highest peak to lowest valley, then for the next largest overall range that interrupts the first range, and so on, down until a suitable fraction (for example, 10%) of all reversals have been used. These few reversals form a short history, which will do substantially the same damage as the total history. The process is applied to three long histories selected by the SAE Fatigue Design and Evaluation Committee. The sensitivity of calculated damage to the omission of smaller ranges is computed for plain and for notched specimens. The error is compared with differences produced by different current rules for evaluating damage, by different cycle counting methods, and by smooth specimen simulation of notched parts.