Irrigation Systems, Center Pivot & Straight Line

December, 2013 by Alma Abell

For those who only have to water their front lawn or vegetable garden, a simple length of hose and a sprinkler is all that is necessary. Imagine if you had thousands of acres of valuable crops that had to be watered, how would you do it?

The most-used methods are center pivot and linear movement irrigation machines. One machine travels around a central point and the other travels the length of the field. In both cases, they require many lengths of large-diameter, light-weight, aluminum tubing that can span hundreds of feet.  The sections of tube are connected with Camlock couplings.

Both types of irrigation machines start with a water source which is found by drilling in the field. Once the well has been lined and capped, the irrigator is built around it. If it is a center pivot machine, a large diameter fluid swivel is connected to the well head which, in turn, is connected to the first section of pipe. As the pipe obviously cannot cantilever over a huge distance, double-wheeled drive bogies are installed at intervals along the full length of the finished system. At each bogie, and often times between bogies, there is another section of pipe installed; the new pipe is coupled using Camlock couplings.

The power to drive the bogies is also distributed down the length of the system. A power source is brought to the pivot and is connected to a slip ring which maintains a constant electrical supply while rotating. Fixed wiring is then run down the pipe and connected at each bogie.

A straight line or lateral irrigation system uses very similar equipment, but with a slightly different approach. The well is drilled at one end of the field or water is piped in to a fixed point at the end of the field. The water supply is connected to a rather powerful driving device which crawls along the field. As the driver gets farther away from the water source, additional lengths of hose are coupled together, once again using Camlock couplings.

Once the field has been harvested, the entire irrigation system can be quickly dismantled and re-assembled in another field, thanks to the ingenious, quick-coupling system from Camlock.



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