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Center Pivot Irrigation Maintenance Tips | Valley Irrigation

Center Pivot Irrigation Maintenance Tips

Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Irrigation Equipment in Top Shape

 

Drive Train
To maximize the drive train life of your center pivots, linears and other irrigation equipment, periodically drain any water that accumulates in the gearbox and center drive, and make sure the gear lubricant is at the proper level.

Wheel Ruts
 
Be sure to fill deep wheel tracks during the off-season to reduce stress on irrigation, tillage, and harvest equipment. To help prevent future tracking, consider changing to a higher floatation tire, adding a floatation drive unit option, or modifying the sprinkler package to reduce water application to the wheel tracks.

Motor Contactors 
Damaged motor contactors can reduce the life of the drive unit motor, so be sure to inspect and replace worn contactors.

Moving Parts 
Steel moving on steel without proper lubrication can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on irrigation parts. Be sure to grease all moving parts, including the pivot point bearing, towable hubs, and corner rollers on your irrigation equipment.

Sprinkler Package
Water application is at the heart of what you do, in order to do this as best possible; sprinkler packages need to be properly designed and maintained to a high degree of accuracy. Generally, sprinkler packages should be replaced at least every 10,000 hours of operation. Regularly check for broken or worn sprinkler components and replace them as necessary. Also, consider running a new sprinkler design that could maximize uniformity and application efficiency, and help alleviate application issues such as runoff, ponding and soil sealing.



Energy Efficiency 
When done properly, you can minimize water pumping costs by reducing the machine’s operating pressure to a point that still produces enough pressure to operate the sprinkler package satisfactorily. Monitor pivot pressure regularly and ensure it remains adequate (as designed) throughout the season.

Tire Pressure
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is vital to the operation of center pivots, linears and other irrigation equipment; the correct tire pressure ensures that flotation for a particular tire is maximized and the rolling circumference is consistent to what Valley uses on timer chart calculations. Be sure to periodically check tire pressure and adjust it to specification. Also, don’t forget to tighten wheel lug nuts and evaluate the overall tire condition. All tires lose pressure over time and lose or gain about 1 PSI per 10 degrees F of temperature change. 

Pivot Alignment & Pipe Flushing

Ensure the tower box micro-switches are set properly. Improper settings can cause pivot misalignment, which results in nuisance shutdowns. Flushing your pipe line and cleaning your sand trap is essential if you have water quality problems or your irrigation water contains sand. 

U-joints 
Evaluate your equipment for worn u-joint inserts and ensure driveshaft shields are in place for safety.

Electrical Connections 
Be sure to power down the equipment before checking any electrical connections. Once the power is off, check for loose connections or loose cord grips in tower boxes.




Your Local Valley Dealer

Only your local Valley dealer can give you the best advice on which irrigation equipment and options are right for you. Find your dealer today!