Monday, 22 September 2014

Machinery Height - do you actually know how close the Powerlines are?

I did some sums on the safe clearance distance for powerlines in my local area of Eyre Peninsula, SA.

A high number of the powerlines on Eyre Peninsula are attached to the older, shorter 9m poles. (many SWER lines, 19000v)

With areas on Eyre Peninsula getting into temperatures of 45-48 degrees or more at times, the powerlines droop in this extreme heat.

Currently, ETSA do not attend to this type of powerline unless it is drooping below 5.5m in height.

The illustration above is a calculation of our Header height, including tyres, aerials etc.

It shows clearly that we can easily exceed the safe clearance distance, especially in summer when the lines droop in the heat.

I guess the main thing to do is be aware of this scenario, especially when:
  • Extending your auger to unload
  • Travelling under powerlines with a  full box
  • Parking the machine to get out
  • And when purchasing new machinery

 It is surprising how close we actually come to this electricity risk. 

      Safe Clearance Distances as per the Electricity Regulations 2012:
Clearance distance in all directions (in metres)
Under 11 000 volts
19 000 volts (SWER)
33 000 volts
66 000 volts
132 000 volts
275 000 volts
330 000 volts
500 000 volts

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Quad Bikes

I've been doing some research into the Crush Protection Device that is now recommended for retrofit to quad bikes.

At first I wondered if the CPD (or Quadbar), would add another level of risk to the rider with this 'thing' sticking up from the back of the bike. 

So I read some more current research papers and looked at footage on YouTube of quad bikes with and without the crush protection device. 

The video footage actually sealed it for me as to the benefit of fitting a quadbar. If you have a look at the links below you will see that the quadbar actually changes the trajectory of the rolling quad bike. Of course, nothing is 'fail safe', but it does change the way in which the bike rolls and at times stops the bike from rolling altogether.

The majority of deaths on quad bikes are from what is called 'mechanical asphyxia': 
  • bike rolls onto rider
  • bike too heavy to push off
  • rider can't breathe
  • rider asphyxiates
Although the bar might protrude and 'maybe' add another element of minor injury risk, I think the benefits of the bar far outweigh this.

This is the website for the quadbar, the guy still runs a property in Queensland, his name is David Robertson.

I will now be ordering one for our kids quad bike, grandpa may take a little extra convincing, but we'll have a go!!!

Farmers - Get yourselves a quadbar, they're only $627, they were actually designed by a farmer - nuf said!