Look up for hazards on the farm
Overhead power lines are necessary to deliver electricity to hardworking farmers and ranchers, but those same power lines can also be deadly if not treated with respect. While you need to focus on the field and your machinery, Cass County Electric Cooperative urges you to also watch for electrical hazards around the farm or ranch.
- Be aware of overhead power lines and keep equipment and extensions far away from them.
- Always keep equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines on all sides. Field cultivators and sprayers can often reach as high as 12 feet in the air.
- Use care when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck. It can be difficult to estimate distance, and a power line may be closer than it looks.
- Before moving or transporting equipment extensions, portable augers, or elevators, ensure they are lowered to their lowest possible level.
Use a spotter
- Avoid moving large equipment alone. Have someone watch as you move equipment to ensure you are clear of power lines.
- When raising or lowering equipment, it is difficult to estimate distance. Use a spotter to make sure you stay far away from power lines.
Realize things change
- If you have purchased new equipment, be aware of antennas or other attachments that may pose new hazards. A newer, larger piece of equipment may no longer clear a line. In addition, shifting soil may also affect whether or not machinery avoids power lines from year to year.
- Wind, uneven ground, shifting weight, or other conditions can cause you to lose control of equipment and make contact with power lines.
- Power lines may sag over the years. If power lines on your property are sagging, contact Cass County Electric to repair the lines. Never try to move a power line on your own.
Educate the crew
- Look over work areas carefully for overhead power lines and utility poles. Make sure you, your family, and employees know the location of overhead power lines and use routes to avoid the lines when moving equipment. Do this every year, as equipment sizes and soil conditions may change.
- Overhead power lines are not the only electric hazard on the farm. Pole guy wires, used to stabilize utility poles, are grounded. However, when one of the guy wires is broken, it can become charged with electricity. If you break a guy wire, call the Cass County Electric to fix it. Don’t do it yourself.
- Contract qualified electricians for work on drying equipment and other farm electrical systems.