We mostly get stuck while irrigating in low spots etc. Valley has some pretty neat 4 wheel setups and such but for $5000 a tower that is not a real desirable solution. I guess I should list out what we've tried in the past to get through the wetholes:
1. Rocks. Works O.K. but hard to get them to the hole unless you can drive a tractor there. Using 5 gallon buckets is WORK. They end up scattered everywhere after you work it.
2. Quickrete bags. Works pretty good if there is a bottom, but it takes a ton of them and they aren't cheap. Sucks if you forget or get too close with the ripper and drag them out.
3. In a pinch, we have used a cattle panel cut in half longways and folded in half again. If you don't go back after the season and pull it out you will almost certainly hook it with something, gouge a tire etc.
4. Someone told us that small square straw bales in the track worked, we tried it and did not have any success.
That's about all I can think of for now, if I think of more, I'll add them in.
We have used landing mats, cattle panels also. Basically it just plain sucks. I've seen those Valley drives as well, like you said that's not much of an option. There are some steel wheel covers you can mount over your tires I think they do work pretty good but they are hard on your gearboxes a sprinkler tech told me.
This is what my situation is, yours may differ so my proposed solution might not work for you. My field is flat(formerly flood irrigation). The soil is silt loam, it gets really slimy when wet. The sprinkler has 11.2x38 tires. In normal conditions several revolutions into the season I have ruts hub deep and the sprinkler pushes a wall of mud about 10 foot ahead the tower. This is on a windshield wiping system. Sometimes it will get stuck when shut off and the mud dries. I start the water and let it soak for a few hours and then start the sprinkler slowly like 10% once past the troubled area resume normal speed. I hope this helps because it is pretty frustrating $75,000 dollar sprinkler that gets stuck.
The mud lug sounds like it might be worth having around. I take it you have had success with it in the past?
Most of the trouble we have is with "wiper" systems, so the trailing drops won't help. I guess I never thought of it, but the dragging hoses option might work on a wiper system as long as they would reverse O.K.
Tasco, do the offset drops not use the regular 4 stream spinner type nozzle? I guess a guy could put a nozzle on that only sprays 180 degrees and doesn't spin.
Not entirely sure Wildcat. What you suggest may well be right. I know that a couple of guys told me they were offseting the sprinklers near the wheels, to make the wheel tracks drier but exactly how they were doing it, I am not entirely sure.
Why not just build a piece of metal that extends backwards from the pivot. So as the piece is angled behind the direction of travel for the sprinkler then run hoses along these pieces of metal so it sprays only where the tires have already been. So you still irrigate part of the crop but only delay it a little while so the tires always have dry ground.
You can see the metal things I am proposing on this sprinkler, just would have to reroute the hose/nozzle along it.
Quote:Why not just build a piece of metal that extends backwards from the pivot. So as the piece is angled behind the direction of travel for the sprinkler then run hoses along these pieces of metal so it sprays only where the tires have already been. So you still irrigate part of the crop but only delay it a little while so the tires always have dry ground.
That would work fine on a full pivot, but most of our trouble is with what we call "wiper" systems, where there is an obstacle preventing full rotation of the pivot. It reverses its direction as it hits a stop, so whatever direction was behind, is now in front. They give us more problems because you are immediately traveling back through where you have just watered when it reverses.
You did give me an idea though, I wonder if the piece of metal could be in an upside down "v" to direct the water to the sides of the track. Problem is in the low spots water runs in there just about no matter what you do!
a farmer i worked for u did what alex mentioned but we had to winshield wiper the field so we just teed the the line and put a valuve at each tower so all we had to do was was turn the valuves at 11 towers but it sure beat pullin out the pivot
Some farmers around here especially those growing Timothy for export use wood chips. They put them in with an old feed truck. Usually last the length of the stand. They buy them by the truck load. Not cheep but works in a high value crop. For smaller wet spots we spread small flax straw bales through the track. It last the season.
has anyone tried thoes bags that zimmatic sells with that white powder in them i can't rember what they are called though it is supposed to firm up your tracks and seal them off so they will pack harder and the tower doesn't sink away. Also make sure the rubber boots or the quick drains aren't leaking by the towers, that will make a heck of a difference if you can get rid of that problem. I also tried putting on more per pass and less passes that seemed to help out also.
IDK, but you can get them through a Zimm. dealer. I think I might try one on a tower or two next year see if there is a difference. It sure would beat haveing ruts so deep that the center tube drags through the mud.
guys yesterday we spet 8 hours unsticking a pivot this is the worst it has ever been first we tried putting a fresh tire on the lugs on the old tire were packed with mud well that worked for a little bit but the pivot was goign any where so then we tried a mug lug. the mud lug is a piece of channel iron that fits over the pivot tire with a piece of flatstrap welded perpendicular on the channel iron well that didnt work by this time our center drive was smokin hot but we didnt smoke it so we used our last resort we used fiberglass tires with round mud lugs on them eight hours later soaked in water and mud the pivot walked out like it wasent even stuck
What we have done is, made a contraption that pulls two coulters or disks behind the problem tower too fill up the ruts. work if your going the same way all the time, unless you want to move it from side to side or like we did, we made it so you can lift it up out of the way when you dont need it. as for offset sprinklers wishne ( I think thats the name ) makes sprinklers that only spray a half pattern. You can easily make a bracket to mount the spinklers behind the tires. If I ever get around to it I'll post picture to show what I mean.