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ALCIVIA values the safety of our members, customers, and employees first and foremost. As we enter planting season, we want to take this opportunity to provide a short refresher on planting safety.

The planter has a lot of moving parts and while most of them are small and internal, or hidden behind shielding, there are still dangers that operators should be aware of to ensure a safe spring planting season.

Many of the dangers of a planter are not obvious because they are hidden in potential energy (or stored energy). Potential energy on a planter can be in the form of gravity, pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical, or other forms. When working with gravity, it is important to remember that the planter could lower down at any moment, posing a risk of harm to you and/or others. Proper installation of safety stops or pins could save a foot, arm, leg, or even a life. Never get under a planter without first making sure that the safety stops are installed.

In a planter, pneumatics are used in several ways, but row unit down force and row cleaners are two of the most common. Draining the air pressure from the system before servicing the machine is important. Hydraulic pressure is also used almost everywhere on the machine. Hydraulics play into several dangerous scenarios. First, if a hydraulic line blows, the planter could have unexpected movement. This sudden and unexpected movement may include the planter lowering, a wing folding/unfolding, a marker lower unexpectedly, and more. There is also the possibility of hydraulic oil injecting into your body. Never check for hydraulic leaks with your hand; always use something other than a body part when feeling around for the leak. With hydraulic pressures on some machines getting above 6000 PSI, the oil has great force when there is a pin hole leak in the system.

Newer planters are using electricity to run meters and other parts of the planter. With the increase in technologies, the voltages powering the new systems are rising to the point that an accidental contact could pose dangerous health risks. Know your planter and know what you are dealing with. If you are unsure about your machine’s electrical system, get the help of a trained professional to help diagnose and repair your machine.

ALCIVIA is taking delivery of 24 new application machines for use this season. Even with a new machine, ALCIVIA applicators are trained to do a walk-around prior to use to make sure all their safety equipment is in order. This includes items like lights, slow moving vehicle signs, mirrors, fire extinguisher, windows, first aid kit, and personal protective equipment. Just because it worked yesterday, doesn’t mean it will work today.

While it is easy to talk about safety, it is challenging to change habits. Safety doesn’t start overnight; it needs to be worked on every day. With the fast-moving pace of today’s world, it is easy to take a chance to keep moving in the field. Efficiency is everyone’s goal, but it is important to slow down and make sure we can accomplish this in a safe manner. ALCIVIA’s value of safety refers to our commitment to the health and well-being of our co-workers, families, customers, environment, and communities. Please incorporate safety into your own every day this season.