Tips n Tools Tips n Tools

Preventative maintenance for pivot and linear irrigation pays

Coming into the colder seasons it's a good idea to schedule preventative maintenance for centre pivots, corners, linears and pumps. Darling Irrigation suggests the following to keep your equipment in shape:

  • To maximise the life of your drive train and keep it operating trouble-free, drain water from the gearbox and centre drive and make sure the gear lubricant is at the proper level.

  • Be sure to fill deep wheel tracks during the off-season to reduce stress on irrigation, tillage and harvest equipment. To help prevent future tracking, consider changing to a different type of tyre, adding a flotation device, or modifying the sprinkler package to reduce water application to the wheel tracks.

  • Damaged motor contactors can reduce the life of the drive unit motor, so be sure to inspect and replace worn contactors.

  • Tyres are vital to the operation of irrigation equipment. Be sure to check tire pressure and tighten lug bolts, as well as evaluate the overall tire condition.

  • Sprinkler packages should be changed at least every 10,000 hours of operation. Regularly check for broken or worn sprinkler components and replace them as necessary. Also consider running a new sprinkler design which could maximise efficiency for soil and crop type.

  • You can minimise water pumping costs by lowering pressure when possible. To ensure that water is being used efficiently, check the machine’s water pressure at the pivot point and for sprinkler packages with pressure regulators, check the line pressure at the last tower.

  • Ensure the tower box micro-switches are set properly. Improper settings can cause pivot misalignment, which results in nuisance shutdowns. Flushing your pipe line and cleaning your sand trap is essential if you have water quality problems or your irrigation water contains sand. 

  • Evaluate the equipment for worn u-joint inserts and ensure driveshaft shields are in place for safety.

  • Be sure to power down the equipment before checking any electrical connections. Once the power is off, check for loose connections or loose cord grips in tower boxes.

  • Steel moving on steel without proper lubrication can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on irrigation equipment. Be sure to grease all moving parts, including the pivot point bearing, towable hubs, corner rollers and legs.

  • Also, consider minimising your irrigation management time by equipping your pivots with remote communications. This eliminates the need to drive to the field to check for standard operations.

Darling Irrigation has qualified and experienced repair, maintenance and service staff who can meet ongoing preventative maintenance needs and urgent repairs in our workshop as well as on-site. The Narromine, Forbes and Bourke stores are also stocked with a huge inventory of spare parts.

Keep your machines up and running with Darling Irrigation!