Harvest time can be a dangerous time of the year. Farmers are trying to beat the weather to bring in their crops before bad weather hits, and safety can be overlooked.
Curtis Dame and Darrell Simpson, agriculture extension agents of the University of Kentucky, want producers to be safe during the fall, so they joined forces with UK’s Agricultural Communications Department to make a video stressing the importance of safety.
The main focus is when equipment gets stuck in the field and help is needed.
“With the wet season we’ve had, we expect for farmers to encounter these situations by surprise,” said Dame. “The prime example is the situation we have here in this field where a washout developed over the growing season after we had a summer with more than 20 inches of rain.”
Dame and Simpson worked with a local towing company to capture on video the correct and incorrect ways to dislodge stuck equipment.
Improper extraction techniques could result in costly damages to an already expensive piece of equipment, and even worse, could cause someone a serious injury or death.
“It doesn’t matter the size of the equipment,” said Dame. “If it’s stuck, there’s always a danger there. We want to provide producers and commercial applicators with the knowledge to make informed decisions and to have the right equipment on hand so they keep themselves and their employees safe.”
The video breaks down the four zones where the equipment is stuck:
- The stuck zone, where the equipment to be pulled is located.
- The tow zone, where the truck or tractor is that will be doing the pulling.
- The danger zone, which is the hookup between the stuck equipment and pulling vehicle where the stress is concentrated.
- The clear zone, where no people or equipment are near in the event something breaks.
The tow zone is considered the most dangerous.
“If anything were to fail on our rigging, somebody is going to get hurt,” said Kevin Hazelwood, a tow truck operator. “Everybody wants to be here right were the action is and see what’s going on. This truck sitting here, it’s too close.”
Hazelwood advises that 100 feet away or more is the safest place to be for anyone where equipment is being extracted.