Welcome to the ACRE

The Agronomy Center for Research and Education, ACRE, is an outdoor laboratory for Purdue Agriculture. Used for field research and hands-on teaching, the 1,135 acre farm is a busy place with faculty, staff, student, and visitor activity. I am Jim Beaty. I have been Superintendent of the ACRE since 1986. With my four full time staff members, part time help, and student employees we are responsible for operating the research farm. About 53 university researchers conduct projects here at the ACRE. I plan to write about our research, visitors, and farm safety thoughts.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 40

One harvest season hazard to avoid, happens when a plot combine gets stuck in the mud and chains, cables, or synthetic tow ropes are used for removal. Pulling out equipment that is mired in the mud requires special safety considerations. Don’t get under an unstable machine to attach the chain. Don’t stand between the two machines during the hooking process unless you are sure the pulling machine is stopped and in park. Always attach to sturdy low structures, like tool bar or tie down hooks. The pulling vehicle should be heavier than the combine. Use a tractor instead of a pick-up if possible. The condition and rated size of the chain, cable, or tow rope is critical. A slow steady pull is much safer than a “snap pull” which should never be executed at ACRE. The driver of both the stuck combine and the tow tractor must be keenly aware of the rebound hazards should the tow line fail. If a line is under tension and a connecting hook fails, then the stored energy in the line under tension can create a sling-shot rebound and send the hook or cable from the other end flying back towards the machine and person on the opposite end. Likewise helpers and spectators should stay a safe distance away from a pulling process. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE.

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