During spring planting and fall harvest there is an increase in farm equipment making contact with power lines in rural Alberta. In the interest of public safety, Battle River Power Coop reminds anyone transporting farm equipment to plan for power lines when transporting or moving harvest equipment.

The Alberta Department of Agriculture recently published a revised version of Safe Transportation of Farm Equipment in Alberta. Information from the manual about moving large equipment near power lines is reproduced below:

  • Check the height of your equipment. If you’re buying it new, confirm the height, update your GPS with any changes, and consider your route to ensure you can cross safely under power lines.
  • Exercise caution if equipment is higher than 4.1 metres. (Note: A travel permit from Alberta Transportation is required to move loads higher than 4.15 M on Alberta roads).
  • Stay seven metres away from power lines. Keep this in mind when operating grain augers or air seeders, or when lifting truck boxes or back hoes.
  • Stack and store wisely. Whether it’s a grain bin or bale storage, stack and store it at least seven metres away from power lines.
  • Plan ahead. Map your route and locate any overhead power lines. If you don’t know whether it’s safe to cross under or work near a power line, call your electric utility service provider for help.
  • Click before you dig. Before digging or driving posts into the ground, visit AlbertaOneCall.com to request an underground locate. Utilities are closer to the surface of the ground than you think.

Contact with power lines is 100 per cent preventable when you plan ahead, know the size of your equipment, and watch for lines. If you do happen to contact a power line with your equipment, avoid injury or death with these steps:

  1. Break the contact. Do what you can to break the electrical circuit. When possible, move the arm of your sprayer or auger, or whatever is touching the line, away from the line.
  2. Stay put and keep others away. If you can’t break the contact stay in your vehicle, keep others away, and call for help.
  3. Call for help. Call 911 and your electric utility service provider so crews can isolate and ground the line to make it safe to work around.

See the complete manual, Safe Transportation of Farm Equipment in Alberta…  https://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/aet12593/$FILE/AF_SafeTransportationofFarmEquipment_WEB.pdf