What is a wheel line?
Quite simply, a Wheel Line is an irrigation system that
moves through a field, from one set position to another, under its own power.
The primary element of this system consists of the LATERAL WHEEL LINE, the
POWER MOVER and the MAINLINE.
A Wheel Line is:
The LATERAL WHEEL LINE is composed of 4" or 5" (101.6mm
or 125mm) thick-wall aluminum irrigation pipe with large wheels attached
so that it may be rolled through the field (above the crop) automatically.
The pipe itself is actually the "axle" for the entire system. Each section
of pipe has one wheel attached at its center, and each length may be quickly
connected to an adjoining length by a special Torque Coupler and clamp band.
Simply connect as many lengths of pipe as are needed to cross the field
(up to ½ mile or .805km). At each Torque Coupler joint is a rotating impact
sprinkler head and a Self Leveler which automatically keeps the sprinkler
head in a steady upright position.
The POWER MOVER is located in the center of the rolling
LATERAL WHEEL LINE. By means of an air-cooled gasoline engine geared to
rotate the pipe (like an axle), the entire LATERAL WHEEL LINE may be moved
across the field by a single person.
The MAINLINE transports water from the pump to the field.
It is a pipeline perpendicular to the LATERAL WHEEL LINE located either
in the center or along one entire edge of the field. Every 50' or 60' (15.24m
or 18.29m) along the MAINLINE are outlet Valve Stubs from which a flexible
pipe or hose is used to connect the water source from the MAINLINE to the
LATERAL WHEEL LINE.
Once the actual Wheel Line (lateral & power mower) is
placed in the field, a flexible connection is attached between one end of
the LATERAL WHEEL LINE and the first MAINLINE outlet valve (Valve Stub).
The water is then turned on with a special Valve Opener and the first section
of the field is sprinkled for the required amount of time (determined by
the crop and soil). When it is time to move the LATERAL WHEEL LINE to the
next station (50' or 0'/15.24m or 18.29m), the operator simply turns off
the mainline valve and allows the Lateral Line to automatically drain itself
of water via pressure activated Flapper Type Drain Valves located at each
pipe connection. (A WHEEL LINE MUST NEVER BE MOVED WITH WATER IN THE LATERAL
PIPE LINE.) When the flexible water source is disconnected, the operator
then starts the POWER MOVER and the entire line is driven down the field
to the next mainline valve position. At the next valve, the flexible water
source is reconnected, the water is turned on, the pressure automatically
closes the Drain Valves, and the sprinkling procedure is repeated.
Once the Wheel Line reaches the end of the field, it
is put into reverse and power driven the entire distance back to the beginning
of the field where the cycle is repeated.