On many farms, grain augers are in use for a very limited
period of the year. Maintenance of such equipment may be overlooked
Pre-season auger repairs are vital to minimizing harvest downtime.
Timely maintenance also reduces accident potential by eliminating
obvious hazards, and renewing operator familiarity with the
Following are basic guidelines for the care and use of grain
- Check that all guards are in place, properly secured,
and functional. The guard surrounding the auger intake is
critically important. Replace all safety decals that are
worn, missing, or illegible.
- Inspect winch and cable (or other lifting system) for
condition, security, and operation. There should be at least
three complete wraps of cable around the winch drum in the
"full down" position. The cable anchor on the winch drum
must be tight.
- Check all fasteners for tightness. Belts and chains should
be in good condition and properly adjusted.
- Check oil levels in gear box and drive box. Lubricate
the machine as specified in the owner's manual.
- Grain augers should always be empty and in the "full
down" position for transport. 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 connected to the auger and the towing vehicle.
- A slow moving sign should be displayed at the output
end of the auger. Don't travel faster than 40 km/hour. Be
particularly cautious when turning!
- Watch for overhead obstructions and electrical wires.
Electrocution can occur without direct contact.
- Never allow anyone to stand underneath or ride on an
auger while it is being transported.
Never move an auger manually. Augers should always be empty
before lifting or moving.
When releasing from or attaching to the towing vehicle, test
the intake end for downward weight. Lift slowly and keep the
intake end no higher than the tractor drawbar. Don't push the
The auger must be on a level surface, attached to a vehicle,
and its wheels must be free to move as it is raised or lowered.
Keep travel distance to a minimum when placing a raised auger.
Make sure the entire area above the auger and in the line
of travel is clear of obstructions and electrical wires.
Slowly move the auger into working position with the towing
vehicle--never by hand! Make certain everyone is clear of the
Once in place, the auger should be anchored at the intake
end, and/or supported at the discharge end. Wheels on the auger
and the power source should be checked on both sides. Never
attempt to increase auger height by positioning wheels on lumber
that all driveline components are in good condition and
work area surrounding the area should have secure footing,
and must be free of all debris and tools which could lead
to accidental tripping and/or falling.
the work area should be marked off. It is the operator's
duty to ensure that children and bystanders are kept well
clear. If anyone not involved in the operation enters the
hazard area, equipment should be shut down immediately.
One individual should be in charge. The auger should be periodically
inspected during operation.
While the auger is running:
- Observe work area restrictions, as outlined above.
- Keep all safety shields and devices in place.
- Make certain everyone is clear before operating or moving
- Keep hands, feet, hair, and clothing away from moving
- Shut off and lock out power to adjust, service, or clean
Make certain that the hopper and auger are empty before stopping
the equipment. The power source should be "locked out" before
the operator leaves the work area.
If an auger has to be immediately shut down under load, disconnect
and lock out the power source. Clean as much grain from the
hopper and auger as possible. Never attempt to start a full
auger--the equipment could be seriously damaged.
Footnote: Manufacturers recommend that augers be stored in the
"full down" position with the intake end anchored. This protects
the auger against toppling over during a wind storm. It also
eliminates the possibility of an inexperienced operator hooking
up to a raised auger and driving the unit into an overhead power
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NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
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