Big Bale Handling
June 10, 2015
Did you know that a big round bale of hay weighs between 400 and 900 kilograms? Because they are so heavy, agricultural workers must make safety awareness a priority in order to avoid injuries.
- Inspect the tractor-baler combination and make sure that all the shields are in place. This is especially important for the power take-off shield (PTO).
- Remove excessive grease or grass build up on all moving parts to avoid an unnecessary fire hazard.
- When servicing equipment, chock the baler wheels, lock the tractor brakes and remove the key from the ignition.
- Thoroughly clean the baler to remove any debris.
- Periodically check for loose or missing bolts, screws, nuts, guards or bent teeth.
- Replace any bent or missing pick-up teeth to ensure that feeding into the feed rolls will go smoothly.
- Every so often, inspect belts and chains for wear and service them as needed.
- Ensure that hydraulic hoses are clean and in good condition before the season.
- Check the lights and warning reflectors on all vehicles.
Crop Preparation and Baling
- When working on rough terrain or hillsides, avoid holes and other obstacles that could tip a windrower or throw you off the machine.
- Inspect the terrain and crop density to determine the windrower speed.
- Be mindful that the more you unplug machinery, the greater the chance of an accident.
- Never unplug the baler before you disengage the PTO and shut off the engine.
- Do not feed material into the baler with your hands or feet; your limb(s) could get pulled into the machine.
- Before transporting hay to the field, check to make sure the brake pedals are joined together.
- Check the tyre pressure on the baler and tractor to avoid equipment drift on slopes in the field.
- Do not leave the tractor seat when the engine is running.
- Always make sure that the area behind the baler is clear when ejecting a bale. Also avoid ejecting bales on downward slopes, as they may continue to roll.