Irrigation System Maintenance​

As the snowflakes fly, it is hard to believe that in a few short months we will be planting again! Before planting season begins, there are many maintenance items around the farm that should be addressed to help ensure equipment longevity. Unlike other equipment, the center pivot doesn’t spend the winter in the shed. Therefore, it is important to do any preventative maintenance before spring planting to help ensure the reliability of the pivot during the peak irrigation season. As with any piece of equipment, it is always important to consult the manufacturer’s manual for instructions.

Sprinkler heads should be operating properly.

The following checklist can help ensure safe operating condition of the pivot, help prevent costly downtime in season and help extend the life of your investment.

  1. Potential oil leaks around the center drive and wheel gearboxes should be evaluated.
  2. Tires should be inflated to the appropriate air pressure according to manufacturer’s guidelines and make sure lug nuts are tight.
  3. The drivetrain should be examined for any worn components.
  4. The system should be aligned properly and adjusted as needed.
  5. Drain plugs should be installed and the system flushed.
  6. While the pivot is running, all sprinklers should be evaluated for proper working condition.
  7. The oil and all filters should be changed.
  8. Motor, gear heads, PTO shafts and pivot bearings should be greased.
  9. Belts should be checked for signs of wear.
  10. The cooling system should be drained, flushed and refilled.
  11. The drip oil reservoir should be refilled.
  12. The electrical ground should be evaluated for any structural or electrical hazards.


These and any other manufacturer’s preseason checklist items can help save you time and money when crops are in peak water demand during the long, hot days of summer.

Additional Irrigation Information:

Irrigation equipment needs regular maintenance. 2015. Agronomy Advice.


Corn irrigation scheduling. 2015. Agronomy Advice.


Terminating irrigation in corn in the Great Plains area. 2016. Agronomy Advice.


Scheduling irrigation for soybean. 2016. Agronomy Advice.


This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.