Act of God?
Maybe not. Although at first glance it does appear so.
I took The Goblin Child for a ride in her wagon along our usual route to the south to the end of the road and back. As we passed the end of a bale stack I noticed it. I wasn’t really looking around me but it was hard to miss. There was something wrong with the pivot.
I’ve seen pivots that had been hit by a tornado before, this is what they look like. We hadn’t had any tornadoes. The wind blew pretty hard on the fourth, not this hard though. Upon further investigation my father-in-law had turned the pivot on for the first time this summer about fifteen minuets before our walk. My poor farmer husband and I took a walk after supper to survey the damage.
On closer inspection it was theorized that tower three, the one with the tire in the air, failed to stop moving as it was supposed to when in line with the other towers. The end tower is on a timer and moves an adjustable percentage of a minute which regulates the amount of water applied. The end tower moves first, for the allotted amount of time, then the other towers move to align with the end tower. Tower three continued to move dragging the rest of the pivot with it.
That it was able to do so is amazing. The weight involved, between the metal of the pivot and thousands of gallons of water (eight pounds per gallon) should have caused it to spin out. There are safeties built in that should have shut this down many times over. The power that was required to bend three inch angle iron nearly a half inch thick, four per tower, and six towers worth of it is incredible considering how easily they get stuck.
Towers one and two were relatively unscathed because they just follow number three. However they pulled the center nearly off it’s base. They hope the well was not damaged beyond some of the pipe.
All of this in about fifteen minutes. Of course insurance doesn’t cover “irrigation systems”.