Pivot Maintenance in Cold Temperatures

January 1, 2015

By Jeremy Becker

With temperatures well below zero and snow blowing across the High Plains, it’s hard to think about your pivot system.  But actually, this is a perfect time to do just that.

You should have completed check-ups on all gear boxes, drives and electrical systems at the end of the irrigation season.  Gear boxes should be checked for leaks or water that needs to be drained off.  All seals should be intact.   Electrical systems should be inspected for any holes or water encroachment that could cause issues when the system is powered up next year.

Rodents can create some real problems over the winter.  Make sure panel boxes are sealed and secure, especially where the wires enter.  We’ve seen plenty of burned-up panels thanks to mouse nests and gnawing on wiring that cause arcing when the system is fired up in the spring.

Check your pivot tires to make sure they have adequate pressure.  Inspect them for wear and tear that may affect traction and performance next season.

If you have a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system, you’ve already drained it off to remove water from all filters and valve boxes.  If your system wasn’t drained, you’ll want to run some detailed checks before you start running it next year.

You can do all this yourself.  Or you can ask the water tech experts at 21st Century Water to do it for you at a reasonable cost.   We know what to look for and how to fix what needs fixing!

Finally, winter is a great time to consider upgrades to your pivot.  Take a close look at your yield maps from last harvest to identify any concerns.  If you’re seeing streaks or areas that aren’t quite hitting your targets, it might be related to your sprinkler package. If you had any electrical or drive train issues this past season, especially on those older pivots, it might be time to think about upgrading.  We can install the latest panel or remote monitoring technology on any brand of pivot.  We also have many drive train and floatation options available to address those problem wheel tracks.

We have some great specials happening during this time of year—and February and March are good months for us to install new sprinkler packages and handle any other pivot upgrades and maintenance.

Irrigation season will be here before you know it.  Count on us to help you be ready when it comes by contacting us now to get your irrigation systems up to spec this winter.