Checklist for Winterizing Your Center Pivot

Checklist for Winterizing Your Center Pivot

Irrigation season has wrapped up here in Nebraska.  Now is a good time to evaluate you center pivot to make sure it is ready for winter and for another growing season.  Here is a quick list of things to look at before winter sets in. 

-  Flushing the system

  • If you have water quality issues or if your well is pumping some sand
  • Clean out the sand trap

Drain water from all pipe above ground

Panel boxes

  • Check for loose or damaged connections
  • Seal up openings to avoid rodent damage


  • Check sprinkler chart for proper sprinkler placement
  • Check for worn or broken components, sprinklers and regulators
  • Replace every 7,000 – 10,000 hours
  • Check for boots, gaskets, and mid-drains for leaks

Drive train

  • Drain water from gearboxes and top off with the proper lubricant
  • Check knuckles for wear and make sure shields are in place
  • Check tire pressure

Pivot tracks

  • Fill tracks in the fall so they can firm up over the winter

Park pivot

  • Positon system parallel to prevailing winds
  • Park on level surface not in an old track so the system can expand/contract with the freezing temperatures

Lock out and secure system

  • We don’t want the system to be turned on during the offseason without the grower’s knowledge.  Ice buildup could take the system down.

Clean up vegetation

  • Around pivot point and well
  • Make the space less inviting to rodents

Chemigation pumps

  • Drain and clean pump and hoses

Protect from cattle

  • If grazing cattle on stalks, protect the system and pumping plant from cattle

It is a good idea to make notes of problems that you encountered during the growing season while they are fresh in your mind!

This article was reviewed by Steve Melvin & Aaron Nygren

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