Viewing posts from: July 2017

Hay and Straw Pose Major Fire Risks to Barns

Posted July 26, 2017 by Administrator

Most individuals look for water to put out a fire, but hay and straw are the exceptions to this rule. When hay and straw become too wet, they can increase in temperature and erupt into flames. While this is more common with hay than straw, the risk exists for both. This is because moisture causes the bacteria in hay and straw to release heat. If the bacteria dies, the bales will cool. However, if the bacteria gains a foothold, temperatures can soar over 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Wet Bales

Farmers should store their wet bales outdoors or in a large, open area. In addition, farmers should not stack wet bales as this prevents heat and moisture from leaving. It is important to note that hay often goes through a sweat period in the initial days after baling. Temperatures can increase up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit without causing concern.

Most Common Fire Risks

Several factors influence the combustibility of hay and straw. For example, hay is most like to catch on fire during the first six weeks after baling. Other factors include:

  • Fields with wet spots
  • Moisture levels exceeding 20%
  • Bales containing more than 20% of hay preservative

How to Monitor Wet Bales

Farmers with at-risk bales of hay or straw need to keep a close watch to avoid fires. They should check the bales two times per day for the first six weeks after baling or until temperatures return to stable levels. To obtain a proper temperature reading, farmers should probe the center of the bale or at least eight feet down into oversized bales.

Determining Critical Temperatures

Below is a list of temperatures and the necessary actions farmers should take to avoid a fire.

  • <125°–No immediate action
  • 150°–This is approaching the fire hazard zone. Monitor twice per day. Farmers can take bales apart to promote airflow.
  • 160°–This is the point of a fire hazard. Farmers should check bales every two hours and take bales apart. Farmers should recruit the fire department before unstacking additional bales.
  • 175°–Bales are likely to have hot pockets at this temperature. Farmers should inform the fire department of a potential incident. Farmers can also create a tight seal on barn doors to remove oxygen.
  • 190°–Farmers need the assistance of the fire department to remove overheated bales at these temperatures. Bales may burst into flame so farmers should wet down tractors.
  • >200°–A fire is likely at this temperature. In addition to the precautions above, farmers should have fire hose lines ready to go.

While taking preventative measures is key to avoiding barn fires, they can still happen. Farmers need to invest in insurance to protect their assets in the event of a barn fire. As a leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify and manage fire risks as well as discuss their insurance needs. Contact us to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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What Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Need to Know about Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Posted July 19, 2017 by Administrator

In 2007, semi truck and engine manufacturers began installing DEF fuel tanks in order to meet federal emissions regulations that went into effect in 2010. The new technology, called selective catalytic reduction (SCR), is an aftertreatment that is injected in small amounts into a diesel engine’s exhaust stream. DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The exhaust stream, which is hot, vaporizes the DEF to form ammonia and carbon dioxide, which is passed over a catalyst and converted into nitrogen and water, which is harmless.

DEF is kept in a separate reservoir tank. DEF is composed of 32.5% high-purity urea and water. Urea is a compound of organic nitrogen that is used commonly in agriculture for fertilizer.

The SCR technology not only reduces pollution, but also saves on fuel. Since the engine no longer has to be tuned to reduce the toxic NOx, it can be adjusted for better fuel economy.

The fuel tank on your truck that has the blue cap is called the DEF fuel tank. When you remove the blue cap, you will notice there is a smaller opening than what’s on the diesel fuel tank. If at all possible, when you go into the commercial card lock or the truck stop try to get bulk DEF fuel. You don’t want to have to deal with the small jugs or containers. The smaller jugs require a funnel and are not as convenient as purchasing it in bulk. Some truck stops will only carry it in the smaller containers, but if at all possible it is best to purchase in bulk.

Once full, a DEF fuel tank will last for about six fills on diesel fuel. So you don’t have to fill it every time you refuel. Just make sure you check it regularly to ensure you don’t get stuck and end up having to use the messy jug system.

There are two fuel gauges on the dash of your rig. One is for the diesel fuel and the other one is for the DEF tank. Keep an eye on your dash gauges so you don’t run into a situation where you get too low.

The biggest concern when it comes to storing DEF is the possibility of contamination. Although DEF is non-toxic, non-polluting and non-flammable, it has to be kept in a plastic container to avoid corrosion. It also has to be kept in a temperature-controlled location and out of direct sunlight. It can be kept for years when stored properly.

If you need to store DEF, here are a few tips to safeguard it from contamination.

  1. Do not refill previously used containers.
  2. Be sure to insert the DEF nozzle into the tank’s inlet to avoid contaminating the spout.
  3. Use only dedicated DEF equipment for storing and dispensing. Do not use funnels or containers that have been used for other purposes.
  4. Do NOT use tap water if you need to rinse the fueling equipment. You must use de-mineralized water.
  5. Keep DEF away from substances such as oil, grease, water, dust, fuel, dirt, metal or detergent.

Diesel engines and systems operate better using SCR technology and fleets appreciate the fuel cost savings the DEF system offers. Cline Wood represents top trucking insurance carriers across the U.S. To learn more about the issues that concern commercial truck companies today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Farm Safety: Identifying Hazards and Managing Risk

Posted July 12, 2017 by Administrator

Investing in insurance is a necessary precaution for farmers. But farmers can take additional steps to protect their investment. For example, avoiding accidents can help minimize injuries and reduce claims. Farmers need to be aware of common hazards, implement safety measures, and train workers to recognize potential threats. While all farms are different, below are some of the most common risks farmers face.

  • Pesticides and herbicides are commonplace on farms. However, failure to use these chemicals with proper precaution can result in burns, respiratory distress, and poisoning.
  • Animals on a farm can inflict several types of injuries. These include crushing, trampling, biting, kicking, and more. Animals can transfer diseases to humans as well such as giardia and ringworm.
  • Any machine with unprotected moving parts can cause injuries. Examples include chain saws and tractors without roll over protection structures (ROPS).
  • Small spaces. Enclosed, tight spaces pose suffocation and poisoning risks. Silos and manure pits, for example, can trap toxic vapors.
  • Drowning is a very real risk on farms. This is especially true for young children in particular. Any body of water, natural or manmade, poses a risk.
  • While most farmers consider weather to be a hazard to their crops, it can also deal out damage to humans as well. Exposure to the elements can result in sunburns, dehydration, hypothermia, and more.

Farmers can take several steps to reduce these risks. Performing regular visual assessments of the farm can help farmers identify potential hazards. Educating all farmhands on risks and best safety practices can reduce injuries. Storing dangerous equipment in a safe location as well as performing regular maintenance on machinery can prevent injuries as well.

As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks and improve safety. To learn more about farming safety, contact Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Webinar: Legal Implications of Electronic Logging Device Implementation and Compliance

Posted July 5, 2017 by Administrator

Join Cline Wood University and Roberts Perryman as we discuss the specifications and legal implications of electronic logging device (ELD) implementation and compliance. Subject matter expert Jason Guerra will address the impact on your trucking business. Topics include:

* The Law, Rules & Deadlines
* Compliance: Supporting Documentation and Technical Specs
* Implementation Issues & Considerations
* Exemptions Regarding Short Haul, Towing, Older Models
* Extension for Use of AOBRDs
* Avoiding Pitfalls

Date & Time: Wed, Jul 12, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT

To Join: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3771330763710693123

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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