Right Driver

Fill in the correct height. Or be electrocuted

This sign we spotted in Sydney could have a shocking conclusion [pun intended].  As far as we can find out (with a quick search), the maximum height for a vehicle working around powerlines in Sydney is 4.6m, but we couldn’t find the minimum height of the lines themselves. However, we do know the minimum height above ground for powerlines in the UK. It varies depending on how much load the lines carry:

  • Low voltage up to 33kV: minimum height 5.2m (5.8m above roads)
  • 132kV: minimum height 6.7m
  • 275: minimum height 7m
  • 400kW: minimum height 7.3m

Just because the lines are 5.2m high doesn’t mean you can drive a vehicle or operate machinery up to 5.2m because high voltage electricity can spark through the air.

These are the vehicles most at risk of hitting lines:

  • Tractors: Exhaust aerial and pulling implements
  • Harvesters: Aerial, exhaust, unloading chute
  • Tippers: Exhaust, aerial and raising bin
  • Stock crates: Loading and unloading, walking along top
  • Irrigators: Raising or standing pipes vertically, water jet, and travelling underneath
  • Sprayers: Booms fold at transport mode and width
  • Excavators/backhoes: Operating, relocating, digging and cleaning dams – arm, knuckle bucket
  • Dozers: Pushing and stacking timber. Raising roadways reduces clearances
  • Augers/grain equipment: Storage bin position and moving augers
  • Cranes: High boom, swaying rope and loads

Got a couple of minutes? Try these safety questions from the Highway Code. Most people can’t get above 70% on their first go. What can you do? Click here to find out.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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