The National Electrical Safety Code requires an 18-foot minimum vertical clearance from the highest point of the filling port of the grain bin to nearby high-voltage wires and a 55-foot minimum distance from the power line to the grain bin wall. See the chart at right for further guidelines.
Filling grain bins
High-voltage power lines are not insulated, so it’s important to remember to maintain an adequate high-wire clearance (minimum of 10 feet) when using a portable auger, conveyor, or elevator to fill your grain bin. Do not use metal poles when breaking up bridged grain inside and around grain bins, and always remember to lower extensions when moving loads.
Moving equipment near grain bins
When moving equipment, such as a hopper or a scaffold, be aware of nearby power lines. Use a spotter when operating large machinery near power lines. Remember to maintain a 10-foot minimum clearance between equipment and all power lines to ensure safety. If contact is made with a power line, stay on the equipment. Make sure to warn others to stay away, and call 911. Do not leave until the utility crew says it is safe to do so. The only reason to exit is if the equipment is on fire. If this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together, without touching the ground and vehicle at the same time. Then, still keeping your feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.