University of Illinois Extension

Grain Auger Safety

Close Up of Grain Auger

A grain auger is a tube containing a solid shaft in the center with flighting on it. Flighting is a spiral of flat steel that is welded onto the center shaft. As the center shaft turns in a clockwise direction, the flighting pulls the grain in and pushes it up the shaft. You can imagine what would happen to someone if their arm or leg got pulled into the end of an auger.

Grain Auger at work

A grain auger is used to put grain into a grain bin for storage or to transport the grain out of the bin to a truck or grain wagon to take to market. This grain auger is portable and can be moved from bin to bin by using the wheels attached to it.

Safety Diagram

Portable grain augers like the one shown can be 60 feet long. It is very important to lower the grain auger to its lowest position before moving it. If the grain auger is moved when it is raised it could get into power lines and electrocute those moving it. It is also important to have proper clearance between the bin and any electrical wires. If possible, it is safer to have electric lines to bins buried under the ground.

Grain Auger Guard

Grain Auger Guard 2

In order to keep objects other than grain from being pulled into the end of an auger, guards are placed over the intake end. These are good examples of guards on the end of grain augers.

Old Grain Auger Without Guard

Many grain augers in use do not have any guard at all, or they may have guards such as this one. This old guard would allow large objects to be pulled in. It should be replaced with a guard similar to the good examples shown.