Panel Safety - Save a Life

by: Darol Dickinson - 2016

Stack of panels.


Most every ranch has portable steel panels in use or stacked around the corrals. Some are light weight imported metal and others like Powder River or the Bry Horn Safe Panels are heavy and extremely sturdy. Some panels are attached permanently to a fence line and others are easily handled to move around to different pastures. It is not unusual to see panels leaning up against a fence when not in use. On the heavy made panels they can be painted every 5 years and the longevity of their use can be dozens of years.

All of the above stuff you already know. Now lets talk about the life and death part of panels. Panels can kill you.

Jasmine with safety chain.

Save a kid... A chain and a carabiner from your local hardware store is cheap insurance.

When we lived in Colorado Peerless Farms was a huge Salers operation. They leased thousands of acres around our operation and moved panels to different places when working cattle. One of their hands was loading panels in a large aluminum trailer and leaned the panels a little too straight up so he could fill the trailer with a lot of panels. As he was carrying panels in the trailer the panels begin to lean, came over on him and killed him. The accumulation of several dozen panels created so much weight he didn't have a chance to lift them off himself.

Although I only know of one person who died by panel waffulation I would bet good money several others died the same or a similar way.

I have heard of calves who stuck their heads through panels to get a bite of grass, pulled back and caused one or more panels to crash on them, twisting and breaking their necks.

Although I have not heard of it happening to cause injury, kids love to climb trees, fences and surely panel stacks. The same danger could be even more so with ranch kids. If kids can get in a gorilla cage, in an alligators mouth or a lion in the back yard, like this last few days, ranch kids can mess up themselves bad with panels.

Now that I have hopefully scared you to death for all the right reasons, this is an easy one. EVERY STACK OF PANELS ON THE RANCH, AT THE FAIR GROUNDS, IN A TRAILER, ANYWHERE, JUST TIE THE TOP PANEL TO THE FENCE OR WHATEVER THEY ARE LEANING AGAINST SO THEY DON'T FALL FORWARD. It can be a little rope, or baling wire, or better yet a chain. It may save the life of one you love. We don't have any extra good people.

If you want to refer back to this article, go to It will be saved for you. -Darol