When choosing an irrigation system, a permanent system or sprinkler setup may not work. When hose reel systems are necessary because of their ease of use and portability, it is important to know the types available for purchase from irrigation services that offer hose reel systems. When looking for the right irrigation system for irregularly shaped fields and those with trees and other obstructions, experienced hosereel services can provide the most choices when it comes to these convenient irrigators.
Traveling Gun/Hose Reel Irrigators
Hose reel irrigation systems, also called traveling gun systems, consist of a single powerful, portable sprinkler head that sprays water in a circular pattern. These movable sprinklers are installed on “traveling” carts, with a water hose attached. The carts can be positioned wherever necessary, as long as they remain connected to a water source. These sprinklers are best used on: irregular-shaped areas; difficult-to-reach areas and fields that cannot be otherwise irrigated because of ditches, power lines, trees, buildings, etc.
Hard Hose vs. Soft Hose Systems
Hose reel irrigators are set up in one area and allowed to run for a certain amount of time, then moved to water a different area. Hard hose systems work with sturdy plastic hoses that are reeled onto a large hosereel, pulling the sprinkler cart along the irrigation lane where watering is necessary. They are reeled and powered by water turbines or engines on the hose reel, which turn the reel to roll up and pull in the heavy, hard hose and move the gun cart. The speed of retraction can be adjusted to apply different amounts of water to the field.
Soft hose systems use a hose cart that is pulled along the irrigation lane by a cable winch affixed to an earth anchor at the end of the field. Because the gun cart is moved separately by the cable, water or drag hoses are soft and collapsible, and similar to fire hoses; they don’t require the strength to reel in a gun cart. Drag hoses are pulled behind the cart as it moves along the irrigation lane. Soft hose travelers have been declining in use, largely replaced by hard hose irrigation systems which are easier to set up and move.
Turbine or Engine Driven Hard Reel Systems
Hard hose reel systems use either a turbine or engine to drive the reel. It can pull in and roll up the heavier hard hose, repositioning the gun cart in the process. Turbine drive systems operate with a turbine that uses energy from the flow of pressurized water moving from the water pump to the gun cart, slowly reeling in the hose whenever water moves through the system. Turbine systems can easily plug up, particularly when the water pumped through the system is not clear or contains animal waste used to fertilize fields.
If clogging may be a problem, an engine drive reel is recommended. It turns the reel by means of a small engine mounted to the reel. The main disadvantage of an engine-driven reel is engine maintenance and fuel cost.
Depending on the size of the area to be irrigated, the length of hose that is required, and other factors such as water source and budget, either hose reel systems may be adequate for required irrigation. Efficient, productive irrigation requires appropriate hosereel services. To learn more about the pros and cons of hard hose and soft hose irrigation machines, discuss your irrigation needs with knowledgeable hosereel systems service who can help determine the best system for your irrigation needs!
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