Eventually, the “rain, rain will go away.” Make sure your pivot is ready to rock.

July 1, 2015

By Jeremy Becker


In most years, we’d probably already be watering by now.  But this year, Mother Nature has decided to be overabundant with rain for most of us.  But we all know that, at some point, we’re going to be kicking on those pivots.   So now is the time to check your pivots before you really need them.

The thunderstorms we’ve been experiencing can cause problems with your pivot.  Each year, we get dozens of calls to repair damage caused by lightning.  That damage is even more extensive if the pivot is running during the lightning strike, since current is traveling through the pivot during operation.

Sensor Guard is a great product that offers protection for your pivot.  It senses static electricity in the air (a precursor to a lightning strike), it automatically shuts down the circuit on the pivot.

During irrigation season, you might be out checking your pivot systems on a daily basis.  But just because one pivot was operating properly when you checked it, doesn’t mean that something didn’t go wrong 20 minutes after you left.

Telemetry products such as the AgSense Field Commander, Valley TrackerSP, or the Valley BaseStation3 are a good strategy for managing multiple pivots from a remote location.   You can log in on your laptop, tablet or mobile device and see everything you need to know about every single pivot—whether it’s moving, direction and speed, where it is in the field, whether the pump or endgun(s) are on or off, etc.

Any of the telemetry devices will immediately alert you of any change in the operation of the pivot by email, text, or phone call.  And, if threatening weather is on the way, you can remotely shut down all pivots to avoid serious damage.  Telemetry also means you can shut down those pivots without risking your own safety by being out in the open during a storm.

If you haven’t already, now is also a good time to check the drive train on the pivot before the crop gets in the way.  Make sure there is gear oil in those gearboxes and center drives and there are no leaky seals.  Check air pressure, tread integrity and determine if there is serious weather-checking on the tires.  Few things are as miserable as slogging out into a wet cornfield in the heat of summer to change a tire or gearbox.  Finally, don’t forget to grease those pivot points and corner arms.

At 21st Century Water Technologies, we know we’ll be very busy once our customers starting firing up their pivots.   Ask us to make sure yours is ready to go right now so you can avoid delays when you really need to water.