It’s not too late to prepare your pivots for freezing temperatures and harsh winter weather.
“It’s stayed relatively warm in many parts of the country, so growers may not be thinking about winterizing their pivots. But, like any piece of agricultural equipment, growers need to take steps to protect their pivots from winter conditions,” said John Elder, director of aftermarket sales for Lindsay Corporation. “Taking a few simple steps now will help keep your pivot in top operating condition for when it’s needed next season.
Maintenance experts recommend the following:
- Park your pivot in a safe spot - Line up your pivots according to the most common wind direction to avoid damage from wind gusts. Strategic placement can also deter wire theft, so avoid enticing potential thieves by parking your pivots in a less visible area of your field.
- Protect against rodents and pests - Avoid placing your pivot near tree lines, and remove brush and branches near control panels to decrease the likelihood of rodents and other pests causing wire damage. Also, be sure to cap pipe openings and outlets to prevent rodents from entering and birds from nesting.
- Drain, drain and drain some more - Be sure to drain all pivots and solid-set systems – even if your system has automatic frost drains, because they can plug in cold weather. Also drain anything that might hold water, including pump manifolds, risers, sprinkler heads, travelers and stationary big guns. While completely draining underground pipes isn’t necessary, lowering water levels to two or three feet below the soil will help prevent freeze damage.
- Don’t overlook the small stuff - Before freezing temperatures arrive, drain and clean rock traps, hoses and end couplers. Water-drive pistons and impeller drive systems should also be drained and cleaned to avoid seasonal wear and tear.
- Service your engine and pump - Drain pumps and manifolds to their lowest points to avoid damage, and conduct a full engine inspection – checking oil, seal lubrication and antifreeze levels. Carefully assess all gauges and wiring and drain the fuel tank.
For more information about seasonal care or pivot maintenance, talk to your local Zimmatic dealer or visit www.zimmatic.com.