Five Things to Include in Your Pre-Season Maintenance Check
Mar 5, 2019
From planters to tractors, growers have a lot of pre-season equipment checks to complete.
“Because they’re so durable and reliable, center pivot systems sometimes get overlooked when growers are conducing their pre-season checks,” said John Elder, director of Aftermarket Sales at Lindsay Corporation. “But, like any piece of equipment, annual maintenance is needed to keep your irrigation system operating efficiently from year to year.”
Elder recommends starting your maintenance inspection at the end of the machine and working toward the pivot point – making sure to check the following components:
End Gun– If the system is equipped with an end gun, make sure all plumbing is intact and appears to be in good working condition. Also check for rodent damage, degradation of tubing and plugged plumbing.
Drive Line– Check air pressure and visually inspect tires at the last tower for any signs of wear. Also, check the seals on the wheel gearboxes and center drive for signs of leakage, and repair or replace as necessary. And, if not done during the off-season, drain water from the bottom of these units and refill with oil. Repeat on every tower while working toward the pivot point.
Sprinklers – Inspect the entire system for missing or damaged sprinklers, and repair or replace as necessary. Missing or damaged items create inefficiencies in the system’s water application and negatively affect irrigation performance. Repeat on every tower while working toward the pivot point.
Pivot Point– Make sure the lower pivot ell is securely connected and any drain plugs have been reinserted. Grease the pivot point after every 1,000 hours of operation or once every season, whichever comes first.
Electrical– Apply power to the system and check for proper operation in both directions.
“A quick, visual inspection before field work begins will help keep your pivots running smoothly – avoiding downtime and higher operating costs,” Elder said. “Be sure to contact your local Zimmatic dealer for any needed replacement parts or electrical troubleshooting needs.”
To find a dealer near you, check the Zimmatic dealer locator.