Center pivots are generally very durable and reliable, so it is sometimes easy to forget that routine maintenance is required to ensure peak performance throughout the growing season.
“This time of year a lot of pivots are making their first passes, so it’s a good time to make sure everything is working properly,” said Evan Carlson, field engineer at Lindsay Corporation. “If you can identify potential problems early on, you can limit or even eliminate costly downtime later in the season, when you can least afford it.”
Generally, most problems are caused by normal wear and tear. As such, Carlson recommends periodically checking the following:
- Drive train – drain any water that has accumulated in the gearboxes and center drives and make sure the gear lubricant is at the proper level
- Hydraulics – make sure the flange gaskets and split couplers/boots aren’t worn or broken
- Sprinklers – check for plugged or damaged sprinklers and replace as necessary
- Tires – adjust the pressure as needed and make sure the wheel lug nuts are tight
“Lightning damage is also a concern during the growing season,” Carlson said. “Growers should make sure their system is properly grounded and has a lightning arrestor properly installed in the main control panel to limit damage as much as possible.”
To keep systems running smoothly season after season, Carlson also recommends scheduling an off-season inspection with your local Zimmatic dealer.