UK power grid operator Western Power Distribution (WPD) has warned farmers of the dangers of over-reliance on GPS after a tractor brought down a 132,000V line near Grantham in England.

The accident was documented in a video filmed by Flawborough Farms themselves.

The accident happened in 2017 and the farm said their tractor was one of three involved in similar accidents that year.

There have been other reports of similar crashes in the UK recently.


The driver was using GPS-assisted auto-steer when this accident happened.

"Distracted by the equipment he was towing, he’d failed to notice he was heading at speed towards the tower and hadn’t applied the brakes," WPD said on its website.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the tractor had only minor damage.

"After the overhead wires were secured and the pylon lifted by a telehandler, the tractor was reversed out and carried on working in the next field," the company reported.

However, one farm worker dies each year in the UK as a result of contact with an overhead power line.

Many others suffer severe burn injuries, with reports of 1,140 near misses in the last five years.

WPD's advice for farmers is to:

  • Never raise elevating equipment, such as spray booms, cabbage harvesters and trailer bodies, under or close to overhead power lines.
  • Never store or produce materials under or close to overhead power lines, as this reduces the clearance from overhead lines.
  • Know the maximum height and reach of any vehicle that you are operating.
  • Understand any height limitations or special operating requirements for the location that you are working at on the farm.
  • Keep a careful look out for warning signs, goal posts and overhead power lines.