Saturday, November 27, 2021

Pivotal Project

Back in 2005 Dad had a pivot sprinkler set up on our 30 acer hay field. However, when the guys installed it they put the pivot point in a spot that made the last tower hit the neighbor's fence. Beings it was springtime and we needed water, we just dealt with it. 16 years later, it was time to move it to it's proper location.

Pivot sprinklers dominate the Big Horn Basin anymore. 25 years ago, it was almost all flood irrigated. On our place, Grandpa irrigated mostly with hand line. The new pivot location wouldn't be far, 30' to the south and 20' to the west.


As is the nature of farmers, we decided we'd do as much of the work as we could ourselves. 


There isn't a level piece of ground on this homestead. 


Fortunately, Luke is pretty handy with concrete. 


The new pad would be 12' x 12' x 6" deep. We went 12" deep around the perimeter and measured carefully where the anchor bolts needed to be.  


4 1/2 yards of concrete later, she was set. 


After the pad was poured we planned to have the pivot guys come out and do the moving. However, they encouraged Dad that we could do it ourselves. Don't tempt me with a good time. 


The Friday after Thanksgiving looked to be the right day.


We built a 50' 3 phase extension cord so we could operate the towers as we moved it.


Then called in Luke with his trackhoe.


The idea was to get the towers perpendicular with the new pad and then just walk it over.


Half way up we discovered we were going to land above the pad. So we kept the pivot point stationary and backed the towers up a bit. 


The second shot did the trick. After burning up all our daylight getting there, she sat right down on our anchor bolts. 


Much better. 

This is only the beginning. Now with her set we'll have to plumb in the power and water from the old site. That'll be a good job for the spring. But what's even more fun is getting to build new corrals. Grandpa's old wooden ones were shot anyway. Now with a permanent location for the sprinkler, we can bring on the pipe. The plan is tubing and continuous fence. This move will also allow us to farm some ground that was previously not much more than a weed catch. A little farmer ingenuity can get a guy a long ways. 


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