Safety tie down on pickup truck

Safe loading of pickup trucks

Make sure you have the right equipment

Most pickup trucks will have tie down points already installed. For more added security, it is often a good idea to purchase some additional equipment. For loose items, you may want to add a toolbox or Tonneau cover

You will also want to make sure that you have some good quality ratchet straps, bungee cords or tarps depending on what you are carrying.

Know how much load your truck can carry

Especially if you are transporting heavy items, you need to know your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating as well as your load capacity. You should be able to find this information on a label inside your driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Under no circumstances should you exceed this limit because doing so could damage your vehicle.

Put heavier items toward the front

When loading your pickup truck, always try to put heavier items toward the cab to prevent your vehicle from becoming back-weighted and affecting your power steering. You should also try to distribute the weight fairly evenly from side to side.

Secure items on at least two sides

Once you’ve following all of the tips listed above, it is important that your items are tied down on at least two sides. This will help keep items from moving around and potentially coming loose. Items that bounce around inside your truck can cause damage or become damaged themselves, and if they end up falling out of your truck, they may cause a serious accident.

Flag long loads

If you are transporting longer items that extend beyond the length of your truck bed, you are required by law to attach a red flag or cloth to the end of the load. If you do not have something at home that you can attach to the load, you may purchase a tailgate flag at your local home improvement centre.

When loading loose items such as firewood, scrap metal or any other item into the back of a pickup truck, use caution. Throwing items with great force can cause ricochet (bounce back) that could injury you or damage the vehicle. A Thompson employee suffered a facial laceration from steel that bounced back.

Thanksgiving background photo

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Many people travel by car for Thanksgiving.

Keep in mind the following safety tips over the holiday:

  • Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
  • Be aware of changes in weather. Remember weather can change dramatically from when you start your trip to when you end.
  • Long weekends have 18 per cent more deadly accidents than non-holiday weekends.
  • Extra police force will be on the roadways this weekend to monitor aggressive, speeding, distracted and impaired drivers.
  • Failing to use your seatbelt may be a bigger cause of fatal accidents during long weekends than either driver intoxication or speeding
  • Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat.

 In addition to road safety, please consider the following:

  • Cooking mishaps account for 30 per cent of residential fires in Canada, according to data from the National Fire Information Database.
  • Don’t leave your stove or oven unattended and make sure you have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
  • If you have a grease fire in one of your pots, turn off the source of the heat and focus on cutting the oxygen supply. You can do so by covering up your pot with a tight-fitting lid, if you have one, or another pot.
  • NEVER use water to try to put it out a grease fire! This can cause the grease to sputter and for the fire to spread. 

Keep safe everyone, and enjoy this celebratory time of year.

If you ate today, thank a farmer.

Oxy-Acetalyne Tanks

Safety: Compressed Gas Cylinder Storage

Compressed gas cylinders pose significant hazards.

 Consider the following safe practices:

  • Store cylinders in a clearly identified, dry, well-ventilated storage area that is not exposed to heat and away from doorways, aisles, stairs, etc.
  • Post “No-Smoking” signs in the storage area
  • Store cylinders, both empty and full, in the upright position. Secure cylinders with a chain or properly rated belt
  • Ensure that the valves are closed tightly with the protective caps in place
  • If storing cylinders outside, place them on a fireproof surface and enclose a tamper-proof secured enclosure
  • Protect cylinders from contact with ice, snow, water, salt, corrosion, and high temperatures
  • Use a chain or adequate support system to protect cylinders from falling. Consider securing each cylinder separately to prevent other cylinders from falling when items are removed from storage.
  • Separate oxygen cylinders from fuel gas cylinders or combustible materials.

In addition, always avoid the following activities:

  • Avoid fastening cylinders to a work table or to structures where they could become part of an electrical circuit
  • Do not store cylinders in enclosures such as lockers or cabinets
  • Do not tamper or alter safety devices
  • Avoid placing cylinders in a horizontal position
  • Do not accept compressed gas cylinders from the supplier unless they are properly labeled and contain protective valve caps
  • Avoid dragging, sliding, or dropping cylinders. They can be rolled for short distances on their base. Use of cylinder trolley or cart is preferred. Always secure the cylinder to the cart or trolley.
Brian Basting from ATI

Grain Marketing video commentary – October 3

Thrip damage in corn photo

OMAFRA Field Crop Report: 2018 Seasonal Insect Pest Summary

Brian Basting from ATI

Grain Marketing Video Commentary Sept. 26, 2018

following farm equipment photo

Sharing the road – farmers and motorists

Now is the time for field crop harvest, and more motorists will be encountering farm equipment on rural roads, increasing the potential for accidents.

Harvest season generally brings a time when there is an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.

Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment:

  • Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
  • Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
  • Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
  • Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
  • Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.

Before passing farm machinery:

  • Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
  • Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.

Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.

Brian Basting from ATI

Grain Marketing Commentary for September 19

Safety PPE gear

Eye injury and prevention

Our eyes are one of our greatest assets. If we don’t protect our eyes from eye injury, we could quickly and easily lose our vision. It’s important to eliminate or engineer out the hazards that could pose hazards to our eyes. Farming can be a very dangerous occupation, so always keep safety in mind.

Most of the hazards to our eyes while working cannot be fully eliminated so proper eye protection is critical. Read more