Battle River Power Coop responded to four calls in May that involved seed drills contacting power poles. In three cases the poles were broken and the fourth involved contact with the line. The results could have been much worse. A collision with a power pole is a life-threatening event.

Tractors, sprayers, cultivators and seed drills have increased dramatically in size, while powerlines remain a constant height. The new equipment has amazing capabilities in reducing the time and effort required for seeding and harvest. It also changes the distance that an operator must allow between machines and electrical structures.

An interesting observation by Where’s the Line is that GPS may be a factor in some contacts between farm equipment and power poles. GPS does not always indicate the position or the height of power poles and dependence on the technology may lull operators into a false sense of security.

We live in an age when reliable electricity is expected and delivered. Contact with electrical structures causes power outages, damage to equipment and even possible injury or death.

Please take precautions when working near electrical structures of any kind, whether they be poles, transformers, or guy wires. Know the dimensions of your equipment. If you have any doubts or questions about clearance, call the Operations Department at Battle River Power Coop (1.877.428.3972). They will be happy to inform you about the height of specific lines and safe clearance distances.

What do you see when you look at this landscape? Do you notice the powerline?
We are so accustomed to seeing power poles, lines and guy wires that we may not consciously ‘see’ them or think about the critical service they deliver.
Look up and look around when operating machinery near power distribution infrastructure.