Preseason Maintenance Helps Maximize Performance and Minimize Downtime
Mar 17, 2021
Is your irrigation system ready for the growing season?
While it’s always a good idea to complete routine, preseason pivot maintenance, there was nothing routine about the wicked winter weather that recently blasted across much of North America. That’s why it’s especially important to make sure your pivots are ready to go when you need them this season.
According to Jonathan Dahmann, from ATS Irrigation in Brenham, Texas, growers should pay special attention to components that could have been damaged by prolonged freezing temperatures, ice and snow.
“Pivots are very rugged, reliable machines, but weather can take a toll,” he said. “We had a couple of weeks of unusually harsh winter weather, so I would encourage growers to closely examine sand traps, drain valves, end gun valves and the automatic valves that control water flow to their pivots.”
Dahmann also advises growers to:
- Lubricate the pivot head. This will help keep the pivot point moving freely during operation.
- Check tire pressure. Proper pressure helps maintain adequate flotation and helps prevent excessive gearbox wear.
- Check gearbox oil level. Maintaining the proper level will prevent excessive gear wear and prolong bearing life.
- Check center drive oil level. Fill to the levels indicated. Over-filling can cause seal failure.
- Take a close look at the bolts. Loose bolts can cause unnecessary stress on the system, so tighten as needed.
- Inspect drivelines. Worn joints and driveline bolts are easy to repair at the beginning of the season, but can be a real headache in the middle of a wet field.
- Check sprinkler nozzles. Replace as necessary to ensure proper
- Inspect the pumping system. Make sure the pump is operating efficiently with good suction and discharge piping.
“Taking the time to check things over now could save you headaches later on,” Dahmann said. “We can get to customers faster in the off-season and help address issues before they become major problems that could shut down the system.”
For replacement parts or to schedule service, contact your local Zimmatic dealer.