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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.
Looking at 6 30ha pivots 300mt length. We pump from a channel half way in the 1200mt by 1900mt block. Plenty of t&l pivots around and zimmatic, I would like to move the pivots for the first few years to utilise the 6 circles. I hope to purchase 2 initially. Heard hyd is so easy to lift the wheels and shift but I do like the simplicity and no oil leaks from the electric. Is the stop start of the electric that noticeable? Service for the zimmatic would be the best (40km away)with t&l based 250km away.
Thought please.
Thanks in advance.
 

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T&L is possibly the better system but due to service Zimmimatic would be my choice of the 2 since you didn't mention Valley. The first few years any of them should be reliable, but I've never moved pivots from field to field like you're wanting to do. We bought some used pivots, a Valley and 2 Zimmimatics, and had the spans moved to our fields and have had to replace a few gaskets. The systems are unreliable, but that is due to age as much as anything.
 

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Gavdalbs ill be interested to see what's said we have been looking. I like the idea of the t and l but think over time it could be costly and the with electricity going up 17.5% in July the t&l looks better.
Price is the big thing im struggling with I've been quoted about 9000 a ha to install and connect.
We've only been looking at around 13 has.
 

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I have very good experience with Zimmatic.I bought 2 new Zimmatics in 1996 and 1 new one in 2004.On 1 1996 a switch was replaced the first year under warranty, on the other 1996 (found out today) the booster pump for the end gun does not kick in if it runs clockwise but does if it goes counter clockwise. I have never checked or drained the gearboxes and replaced only two of those gearboxes so far.
 

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We have 28 pivot machines on 3 farms. 23 are zimmatic. I would buy zimmatic again. Just seem slightly better than the valley although valley machines have a couple features I prefer.

No experience of t&l but hear horror stories once the hydraulics get a bit older.

We shift all of our machines once per year with a dozen moved twice a year. No big deal do do.

Richard
 

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I'd vote Zimmatic also, we have about twenty now all the way from 1984 through new ones last year. Been considering T&L but no dealers worth anything up here, I hear the owners are great. Very personable and have great service but they are still two thousand km away. Also been told the hydraulic pivots draw up to twice the energy electric units. I haven't had any experience with towables since 1976 but we have some with towable hubs this year we had to change out some bearings because of lack of use.
 

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Of the Big 3 brands, T-Ls are the easiest to tow, and Zimmatics are the worst (Valley is somewhere in between). If nothing goes wrong, two guys can tow a T-L and get it running in a couple hours without breaking a sweat. If something does go wrong, prepare for an oil bath and a lost hour replacing a hose. It shouldn't take that long to replace a hose, but it always seems to. And God help you if it doesn't tow straight; you'll get a workout climbing up to adjust spool valves to realign the towers.

Newer Zimmatics have a stupid lever on the gearbox to unlock it for towing; as it ages that lever gets stiff and very hard to move; plan on carrying a hammer, a big Crescent wrench, and possibly a pry bar or cheater pipe. They also have a lot of little pins and clips to keep track of; good luck finding one if you drop it in the mud. Towing pivots sucks in general, though. I'd try to avoid it if at all possible.

A Zimmatic will be cheaper to operate than a T-L equipped with a 10hp electric motor to run the hydraulic pump, and way, way, cheaper than using a diesel power unit. I'm not sure what you guys pay for electricity, but I know your diesel costs a lot more than ours, and I don't like filling up the tank on my T-L (also, a diesel will need regular oil changes, filters, and general maintenance). I'm assuming you have grid power, if you have to run a generator all this is rather moot.

I work with a bunch of T-Ls. They're fine when they're running, but if you spend enough time with them you will learn what it truly means to hate. If an electric gets stuck, you can often just dig out the offending tower, walk up to the pivot, hold the safety override button until the stuck tower is back in alignment, then be about your day. If a T-L gets stuck, you dig it out, adjust the spool valve on that tower, curse when it doesn't start walking on its own, peer over the top of the pipe to see what other tower is not aligned, walk over that way and hope you guessed right, guess wrong, check the rest of the towers down the line, go back and realize it was Number 2 the whole time, adjust it, knock Number 7 out, curse again, walk down and adjust 7, finally get it walking, go home, have a stiff drink, and contemplate life. All pivots break down eventually, and none of them are fun to work on, but T-Ls are a special breed. Their simplicity is often makes them harder to maintain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys. Have the electrics really suffer from the stop start method. Do you see crop difference.
 

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We can't see any variation in the crop due to stop start of electric. The newer zimmatic gearboxes with the handle are getting more reliable. Can't tell you why though as I have my 2ic do all the pivot moving nowadays. He did say they had modified the later gearboxes.

Richard
 

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Thanks guys. Have the electrics really suffer from the stop start method. Do you see crop difference.
You'll never notice, unless maybe it's super dry and you can't pump enough water meet crop demands. But, by then you have more important things on your mind.
 

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The start/stop is not noticeable at all, the end tower only travels a few feet each time it runs and the inner towers are all less, so no, you won't see lines in your field.
 

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Have 4 valleys and 2 reinkes and and 1 T&L All newer so have had little trouble with any. We have towed one valley for 8 years and we got it down to about 2 hours with 2 of us. We used a loader tractor and forks to lift between the wheels as we spun the wheels. It does get old after a while which is why we don't do it anymore.
 

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Have 4 valleys and 2 reinkes and and 1 T&L All newer so have had little trouble with any. We have towed one valley for 8 years and we got it down to about 2 hours with 2 of us. We used a loader tractor and forks to lift between the wheels as we spun the wheels. It does get old after a while which is why we don't do it anymore.
We used to tow several Valleys. One time my dad and I turned tires on an eight tower system in 38 minutes, using a Hi-Lift jack and walking through the field. It was late in the evening so we towed it the next day, but electrics can be moved in a hurry if one wants (but they do take more effort than a T-L). My landlord told me recently that the quickest he and his brother towed an old Lockwood and got it running was 9 hours; I didn't want to sound like a braggart, so I didn't mention that we used to move two Valleys before lunch, then maybe pull another when it cooled off in the evening.

The big problem I have with towing pivots is that we're moving between winter wheat and spring-planted row crops, so there is a period where one crop is always being shorted on water. My wheat really suffered this spring while I had the pivot on the other field prewatering for corn. If I didn't have to tow, I could have put another couple of inches on the wheat.
 
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