| T-L PIVOT PROBLEMS|
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|I have a friend who is a t-l dealer and he says they have really good luck with them. Now i know some of you guys have different opinions on this. Seems to me with the problems with people stealing copper that would be a good way to solve that. So what exactley are the downfalls of these systems? Im new to irrigation so any advice would help. TIA|
Downsides: They use more electrical power to move the pivot than a conventional electric-powered pivot uses. If you really open up a hose, you have a bunch of hydraulic oil in your field. You have an expensive hydraulic power pack at the center of the pivot.
Upsides: no live power on the towers. No copper cable for the meth-heads to steal.
|The quarter mile systems work very good. I have had two of them. The half mile 500 acre system I put up new in 2000 was kind of a pain. It would run really crooked sometimes making a new track when it reversed. The only problem with the quarter mile systems we had was the planetary gear boxes would free wheel and move in the wind when the system was parked. I believe the newer ones came equipped with an internal brake and I would highly recomend it. One of our systems completely blew down one tower after it had taken off rolling. I think the non towable worm drive boxes won't allow the machine to move around in the wind but a lot of people seem to think that they don't have as long a life as the planetaries do. One other interesting thing about a hydraulic system is that if you irrigate in the colder weather the machine speed will change with the fluctuating temperature. When it gets real cold the oil slows down and so does the machine. Nobody recomends running these under freezing weather but we do a lot. We have a lot more acres than we have water.|
Edited by tmrand 12/6/2007 12:53
|Hay Wilson in TX|
Little River, TX
|You might look at buried drip system. cost more up front, but power requirements are less, no towers to get in the way, and if raising hay can continue irrigating while harvesting. |
Probably has as many chores to keep running just different than those with a pivot.
Field does not have to be a circle, & No ruts.
Big draw back is you can't water up a stand.
This from a dry land hay grower.
Alsace 47°52'46"N 7°24'30"E
|I have been robbed last year off my copper power lines on a Lindsay/Zimmatic ... |
But some of my neighbors who had parked their pivots in the fields instead of alongside the road, did not get robbed! Also, when the cables were replaced, most dealers put systematically new metal binders around the tubes and this every 10' or so, such as to make things more difficult.
Just my 0.02€
|They get stuck very easily. They like to leak oil once in a while and then quit leaking. That gets very frustrating! I can't keep the 6 inch coupling hose on each tower from sliding off the pipe. I have double clamped them and they still work loose. The pivot will get slower with time. It takes mine 24 hours to make a circle at 100%. It is 10 years old. |
Other than that they work fine. I will never own another one!
In my operation, there are no downfalls. It is true they do take slightly more energy to run than an electric, but there is not much difference if you are using a diesel engine for pumping and powering the pivot, like I am.
I have also heard about them coasting with the planetary drive, but I have worm gearboxes, so I have no problem with them. I think the gearboxes last longer on them than an electric and also they have no troublesome joints between the electric motor and gearbox to constantly be replacing.
I disagree that they get stuck easier than an electric, I think it may be the opposite but I can't say for sure. They both get stuck. As far as the rubber hose coming off between towers, this makes no sense. I have had no more trouble on the T&L than the electric pivots. Also I have not noticed the pivot slowing down as it gets older, and I know this for a fact since nearly every year I have to calibrate the speed of the pivot over a certain time to apply fertilizer, and I have noticed no difference from when I started in the first year.
They are far and away the least troublesome pivot on the market. I have never had a serviceman out on one, and it is rare that I ever do anything to them. Another huge benefit, at least it has been for me, is I am no longer troubled by lightning damage. Almost every year I have some component destroyed by lightning on the electrics, and sometimes it is very expensive.
I think you would have to be crazy to buy an electric pivot.
I think I should say my experience is with 1/4 mile pivots and I don't know if there would be something about them that would be more troublesome on the longer systems. Maybe there is, but for me I would have nothing else.
Edited by Mr. Snerdly1 12/6/2007 14:36
|My Dad used to say that "Everything works well when it is NEW!"... so I suppose that all the brands of sprinklers work pretty well when they are new.... |
I run both Valleys and Zimmys, and sort of "inherited" one old T & L when my cousin quit farming....it came with the deal. It was old and used when he got it, and it has NOT improved with time.
As the machines age, the wheel hydraulic motors gradually begin to "chatter" as oil leaks internally.... this sets up a vibration in the towers, and soon the steel oil lines are vibrating, and rubbing holes in themselves.... The machine that I have is probably 25 years old, though, so there is LOTS to repair...mostly oil leaks. I replace a couple of wheel drive motors each year, and frequently need to replace or splice oil lines. If there is ANY moisture in the oil lines, it might well cause a line to burst over the winter, and one might have ALL the oil leak out in the field....costs a bunch to go buy 60 gal of hydraulic oil in the spring to get the silly thing to pressure up.
I keep thinking that I am competent enough to fix a hydraulic problem, and do not need to call the repairman....so I am often out in the cornfield sitting in the mud, sweating bullets, with hydraulic oil running down my arms fixing a leak........Makes the concept of calling an electrical repairman a bit more inviting....
This one was probably all right when new, but there ain't no "pride of ownership" anymore. As soon as I win the lottery, this one will be gone. Showboat
Alsace 47°52'46"N 7°24'30"E
|I think both Valley and Zimmatic have conversion kits for your T&L Pivot... Think it would be worth a question to your dealer ...|
Nebraska Irrigation also has conversion kits to retrofit electric drive/control onto TL's and the old water-powered pivots.
|It is likely you would buy T and L point control system , or maybe the precision point control. |
It uses copper wire the entire length of system,
It uses 24 volt ac current, also 24 volt dc current,
also 28 vdc. The electronic circuit boards are not cheap( $174) and they do fail ( lightning, faulty alternator on engine drive power source, etc.) The solenoids also fail as does the readouts.
The manual T&L provides with a new system has 0ver 14 pages of troubleshooting. A multimeter and fuses would be usefull to help solve an electric malfunction.
The filters should be changed every year to keep any contamination from damageing the pump, valves, or motors. A worm drive will take nearly twice the oil flow to operate versus a planetary system. Unless you have at least 15 horsepower available at pump source hydraulic booster end gun is not recommended. Because when booster comes on it reduces oil flow to rest of system slowing it down, hence the need for plenty of power to drive the pump.
South central, Nebraska
|The quality of the pivot will be as good as is it is assembled. That applies to all brands. |
I have seen all brands around here work well OR fail horribly. Some problems can be blamed on supplier quality issues through the years (all brands) but most of the surviving pivot brands have evolved into good machines.
If your dealer has a GOOD assembly crew, you should be fine.
T&L has addressed the rolling issues on the planetary drive with an internal brake and the worm drives perform just the same as electrics except they don't use a rubber joint maybe because they run constant instead of start and stop. Make your own opinion there.
You can keep the speed control as simple as only having a flow control at the end tower to set speed or equip it with computer to control multiple functions including remote control like most others offer on the top models. There are a couple controller models in between too. That will be a trade off. I have never had an oil drive without electronics, damaged by an electrical storm. I have had pivots WITH electronics, damaged by electrical storms.
I have not seen the cost to propel an oil drive vs electric to be measurable enough to consider an issue. The energy used to pump water is where the real dollars are spent.
An oil leak is possible but very uncommon if assembled with a GOOD crew. The same goes with wire chaffing or poor electrical connections. Again, most of that points to a GOOD assembly crew. Oil drives have safety limits to shut down after a drop in oil level, maybe two or three gallons..... Much like a electrical leak that can start small but get bad enough to blow a fuse or trip an overload. Neither leak was free but, I would rather find the oil leak than the electrical leak!
Be careful about people discrediting any system because of experiences of a poorly assembled system or from a much older design.
The most basic systems generally have the most reliability, as you add features you also add more potential for break downs. Just like any machine in any business.
Make sure your dealer has a GOOD crew assemble whatever brand you decide fits your operation best and you should be fine.
|I have the rubber hose coming off on two to three towers every year. It is not always the same towers doing this. I have double clamped them on each side of the hose. I would love to have someone tell me how to fix this because you never know when it is going to happen. I am running 50# pressure. This is on terraced ground so the pivot does twist some. Somtimes it runs all night like that until it is checked the next morning. Then you have to wade out in the field and loosen the clamps, slide the hose back on the pipe and tighten the clamps again. I also have a Zimmatic. It does not do this and it has never been stuck. I have never had any problem with it in 6 years. The T&L gets stuck at least 5 times a year. I also have to calibrate every year for chemigation and the pivot gets slower each year. I have always changed the filter each year. Both of mine are 1/4 mile pivots.|
|Something to think about. You might check around & get hose clamps like the trucks use on the air to air aftercoolers with the spring.|
|get a longer boot. |
nebraska irrigation sells boots. Have fun putting a longer boot on. May have to lift end of span up to get it on, and use lubricant to assist in sliding boot on. Usually I have to beat a boot to either slide it or get it on. Use only T-bolt clamps never a spring bolt clamp as badger mentioned and draw it tight, maybe if your a little fellow get a bigger guy to tighten the bolt up.
Get right size boot 6 inch or 6 and 5/8 for the pipe.
the manual for T &L pivot has guidelines for any slope in fields. It is possible your T &L is not recommeded for that field.
usually a Reinke will allow for steeper slopes like on back side of terraces.
Edited by greg33 12/7/2007 09:21
|The boot is already as long as it can be. I am using 2 T bolt clamps on each side. I am thinking about converting it to a zimmztic style connection. |
Even on the first tower where it runs in the flat and does not twist will come off once in a while.
The reason I went with the T&L was because they claimed the with continuous movement it would not get stuck as easy. From what I have experienced it is the opposite. The T&L will keep digging until it will not move any more. The Zimmatic will pop itself out of a bad situation when it starts and does not leave as deep of a rut as the T&L..
I've put on longer boots - cut from the NI "boot hose" material that they have.
We put pipe snot on the inside of the boot and put it on when it was a hot, sunny day to make the material more flexible. Seemed to go on easily enough. Oh, and we wire-brushed the ends of the pipes to get all the scale and corrosion off.
|I might have to try that. Did you have to seperate the pivot and raise it up or did you put the longer boot in place as it was? |
|it would be very difficult to install a longer boot without lifting up one end of the span. |
on a reinke it is impossible.
take a knife cut the old one. tractor with loader that lifts high enough should be able to lift the end of span.
all pivots I have seen have a ridge at the end of pipe to help retain the hose and clamp.
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