Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind When Operating a Silage Wagon

A silage wagon is an invaluable piece of equipment to any livestock farmer because it eases the process of transporting silage from the field to the storage area. However, silage wagon operators may be exposed to several safety risks if they do not take steps to limit the likelihood that those hazards will occur. This article discusses some of the precautions that will keep you safe as you operate a silage wagon.

Install PTO Guards

One of the biggest risks that operators of silage wagons face is when they have to move over a rotating PTO (power take off) driveline in order to reach the speed controls of the wagon. In that moment, parts of your body, such as the arms or legs, may be caught in the moving driveline. This can cause severe injuries that may necessitate the amputation of the affected body part. The best way to minimise the possibility of such grave injuries is to install a guard system, such as barrier bars, over the PTO driveline. That guard system will prevent your body parts from getting dangerously close to the moving components.

Watch What You Wear

Another risk factor during the operation of a silage wagon is the kind of clothing that operators wear. Loose clothing can easily be entangled in the PTO system when you are standing or moving close to the driveline. It is better to wear close-fitting clothes so that it will not be possible for the wind to blow the clothes into the path of the moving PTO parts.

Work With a Companion

Some silage wagon accidents occur as the operator steps out of the tractor cabin in order to operate the controls of the wagon. Such accidents can be prevented by having a companion so that you will not have to move from one side of the wagon to the other in order to reach the controls. That extra person will also be instrumental in rescuing you in case you are involved in an accident. For instance, that person can quickly turn off the PTO system when he or she sees that your clothes have been caught in the rotating driveline.

Different silage wagon manufacturers provide different safety mechanisms to protect operators from possible accidents. For instance, some wagons can be controlled from a distance using a hydraulic control unit. Contact the supplier of your model and make of silage wagon for advice on what wagon upgrades or features you can acquire in order to enhance your safety while operating the silage wagon.