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Outage Reporting: 1.800.472.2983 or 701.939.6671

Look up and look around

Power lines and poles may be closer than you think!

For your safety, make sure you have at least 10 feet of clearance between power lines and your combines, grain augers, balers and front-end loaders.

Farming equipment is vulnerable to hitting power lines because of its large size, height, and extensions. Newer, larger equipment is especially at risk.

Look for low-hanging lines when you enter and leave a field.


Keep in mind that uneven ground and shifting soil conditions can put you in harm’s way.

If your equipment does make contact with a power line, do not leave the cab. Call 911, tell others to stay away, and wait for help.

If you are a Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative member and you see a power line issue that may need attention, call BDEC at 800.472.2983 or email

Your safety matters. Working together helps ensure the safety of all!


What if you contact a power line?

Imagine that you are driving a combine to the field when things come to a screeching halt. You look back to see what’s stopping you, only to discover that you’re tangled in an overhead power line! What do you do?

First, DON’T climb out. If your equipment does contact a power line, stay in the cab and call for help. Warn others to stay away and wait until the electric cooperative arrives. Most utility lines are uninsulated, bare wires. Do not let your body become a direct link between the power line and the ground.

If you must leave the combine due to immediate danger, such as a fire, jump as far away as you can, making sure that no part of your body touches the combine and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together and hop or shuffle your feet a few inches at a time, making sure to never break contact with the ground or cause separation between your feet.

Once you’re off the combine, do not go back until your local electric co-op disconnects the power line.


Follow these other tips:

Look over work areas carefully for overhead power lines and utility poles. Make sure you, your family and employees know the location of overhead power lines, and use routes to avoid the lines when moving equipment. Do this every year, as equipment sizes and soil conditions may change.

Be aware of increased heights of equipment, especially new equipment with higher antennas.

Avoid moving large equipment alone. Have someone watch as you move equipment to ensure you are clear of power lines.

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