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  • CEO September Message - 2023

CEO September Message - 2023

01 September 2023

During harvest (and planting) season, many farmers reap the benefits of advancement in agricultural technology. The length of equipment keeps raising the height of equipment when you put it in the air, but the electric code and the standards under which our electric company operates do not coincide with the size of the new equipment. When you get new equipment and it no longer fits under our electric lines, you will be required to pay to have those lines lifted or raised to pass under the lines without lowering your equipment.

Another invention is GPS with driverless tractors with auto-steering capabilities. Remember, although the GPS may be able to know when to turn at the end of each field and may even be programmed around certain things, we might forget about the power line crossing the field at some point and an aerial map does not always show those poles and wires very well.

Despite these advances, safety risks remain. It is imperative to contact us so that you do not put yourself or others in danger.

Putting safety first requires alertness, focus and knowledge of potential hazards and safety steps. Varying pass-to-pass accuracy levels and potential issues, such as power poles not being correctly plotted in the system, reinforce the need for drivers to remain focused on the location of the farm equipment while in the field and to be ready to take action if necessary.

Regardless of technology used on the farm, keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind:

  • Use a spotter when operating large machinery near power lines.
  • Always keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines, in all directions.
  • Look up and use care when moving any equipment, such as extending augers or raising the bed of grain trucks around power lines.
  • Inspect the height of farm equipment to determine clearance.
  • When you buy that new piece of equipment that may make time in the field shorter, always remember to set the extensions to the lowest setting when moving loads to prevent contact with overhead power lines. Grain augers should always be positioned horizontally before being moved.
  • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
  • If a power line is sagging or low, contact Hill County Electric at 1-800-332-1201.

If your equipment does contact a power line, do not leave the cab. Immediately call 911, warn others to stay away and wait for the utility crew to cut the power. The only reason to exit equipment that has encountered overhead lines is if the equipment is on fire. If this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and machinery at the same time. Then, still keeping your feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.