Keeping clear

Is your bigger farm in need of an electric service upgrade?

Posted on Feb 21 2018 in Kankakee Valley REMC

You don’t have to be a farmer or historian to realize how much bigger everything is these days out on the farm: Bigger farms; bigger fields; bigger machinery; bigger yields; bigger barns and bigger bins.

Shiny metal barns and buildings now house today’s giant machinery. The old wooden barn may be quaint, but it’s antiquated. The red wooden barn, though, was the standard when Kankakee Valley REMC and other electric cooperatives first started stringing power lines into rural Indiana in the 1930s.

While the vertical and horizontal specifications for electric utility pole heights and line clearances haven’t changed for the most part since the early days of rural electrification, what farmers have built beneath and around them certainly has.

Kankakee Valley REMC wants to know if the upgrades you’ve made to your farm have made the electric poles and power lines serving those structures — and the safety specifications — in need of an upgrade, too?

When building electric service to your farm’s structures, KV REMC calculates and designs pole height and line clearance based on each individual structure and ground elevation at the time the structure is built. But larger machinery, equipment, barns and bins may have replaced older smaller ones. Sometimes, field entrances have been relocated or altered to accommodate larger machinery.

These changes could mean different clearances are now required from when the lines were originally constructed.
KV REMC is always focused on safety for our members. Please let us know if you have altered structures near power lines, or if you have an area where the line clearance is “too close” with the increase of your equipment size.

Call us if you find yourself getting nervous when driving machinery under a power line that crosses a road or at a field entrance. We may need to move or raise our poles and power lines.

Be sure to always lower a grain auger before moving it, even if it’s only a few feet. Judging line clearance from a distance is never easy and power lines are much closer than they may seem. Always look up, look down and all around when moving equipment.

Contact KV REMC for more information about clearances and whenever you have a question or concern.