Auger Safety

It’s time to move the auger to a new grain bin or a different facility. Here are a few safety reminders when transporting and placing an auger.

Transporting

  • Transport your auger empty and in the lowered or “full down” position. The lift arm of the undercarriage should be seated against the down position stop with slight tension on the winch cable and at least three complete wraps of cable around the winch drum.
  • The hitch pin should be securely attached and a safety chain secured between the auger and towing vehicle.
  • Do not transport the auger at speeds in excess of 20 MPH. When traveling on the highway be sure to have the auger properly marked with a Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem.
  • Be alert to overhead obstructions and electrical wires. Remember, electrocution can occur without direct contact, due to arcing. Failure to stay clear of electrical wires will result in electrocution.
  • Never allow persons to stand underneath or ride on the auger when it is being transported.
  • Never move the auger manually. Use a vehicle. When releasing from or attaching to the vehicle, test the intake end for downward weight. Lift it slowly and keep the intake end no higher than the vehicle tow bar. Don’t push the undercarriage.

Placement

  • The auger must be on a level surface, attached to a vehicle, and wheels must be free to move when raising or lowering. Keep the travel distance to a minimum when placing a raised auger.
  • During placement, make sure the entire area above the auger and in the line of travel is clear of obstructions and electrical wires. Failure to stay clear of electrical wires will result in electrocution.
  • Move the auger slowly into the working position with the towing vehicle, not by hand. Make certain everyone is clear of the work area.
  • Once in the place, the auger should be anchored at the intake end and/or supported at the discharge end. The wheels on the auger and the power source should be chocked on both sides.
  • Do not attempt to increase auger height by positioning wheels on lumber, blocks or by other means.

Additional Safety Items

Common injuries with augers include amputations, lacerations, broken bones and electrocutions. Taking a few precautions can help prevent these injuries.

A warning decal for an auger.

A warning decal for an auger.

Keep shields and guards on augers and ptos. The intake screen is an important safety feature that allow grain to flow through but keep hands and feet out. Replace any damaged intake shields or install on older augers that might have been purchased without an intake screen. If you are using a PTO driven auger, follow all precautions for operating a PTO including having the proper shielding in place.

Establish a work zone. When operating an auger, having a work zone helps to keep children or visitors out of a very dangerous area.    Numerous injuries with augers have involved children who fell into augers or unknowingly placed their hands into a running auger. Post a few signs or use temporary markers to help instruct family members or visitors to stay out of the active work zone.

When kept in good maintenance with shields and guards in place and following safety procedures, augers are valuable pieces of equipment for moving grains and feeds.

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