1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2, Page #03[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Center Pivot Track SystemThe best way to handle tire ruts left by center pivots is not to make them in the first place, according to Dennis Wilkinson of Omintrac, a manufacturer of track systems for both 2- and 4-WD drive tractors as well as wagons and sprayers (FARM SHOW Vol. 19, No. 5).
The company has been working on rubber tracks to replace tires on center pivot irrigation equipment for two years. It now has a prototype system, which will be tested at three farms in the Pacific Northwest this year.
Wilkinson unveiled a blueprint of the system at the recent Northwest Agricultural Show at Portland, Ore. "We've had tremendous interest," he told FARM SHOW. "The problem is that the system, as it is right now, would cost $20,000 to $30,000 depending on whether an operator runs seven or nine towers. We'd like to be able to bring that down to $12,000 to $15,000, which should be possible as more and more companies start making the rubber track, which is the most expensive component."
Omnitrac's system uses two 15-in. rubber belts per tower. Tracks wrap around the original tire and run over a 20-in. dia. idler wheel. Tension is maintained with a hydraulic cylinder.
The system provides 1,020 sq. in. of ground contact per tower instead of the 264 sq. in. with standard 11.2 by 24-in. implement tires. Ground pressure may be cut to as little as 2 psi's, Wilkinson estimates.
Omnitrac will test the tracks - one pair per irrigation system - on farms in Idaho, Oregon and Washington this season to see how they perform on various soil types.
Like other Omitrac systems, the center pivot track system installs quickly and easily, Wilkinson adds.
"You'll be able to install them on a seven or nine tower system in a day or less," he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Omnitrac, 68287 Lower Cove Road, Cove, Ore. 97824 (ph 541 963-0139; fax 541 568-4571).
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