Any significant investment in your business is worth researching—IT upgrades, new hires and commercial irrigation systems.
Each plays a different role in the success of your business. Each is important. And each is worthy of understanding to the fullest before you make a decision.
And while there are plenty of IT and HR consultants available to help you determine which technology solutions and salespeople are best for your business, finding clear, concise and accurate information about commercial irrigation systems can be considerably more difficult to obtain. In other words, gaining insight into which commercial irrigation system is right for you is critical, but often difficult to do.
Which is why you should read the following guide to commercial irrigation systems.
There are two primary cost drivers of commercial irrigation systems: installation and maintenance.
Installation costs generally depend on the size of your property and the quality of your system’s parts. In general, the larger your property, the more your system will cost. Larger lots require more piping, sprinkler heads and labor.
Maintenance costs involve the spring startup and winterization in the fall. To keep your system functioning properly, it’s imperative that it be properly maintained.
Each spring, you’ll want your technician to inspect your system to make sure the cold, New Jersey winter hasn’t resulted in cracked pipes, leaking components, broken heads and timers and sensors that have worn out.
In the fall, you’ll want your technician to properly winterize the system—specifically, blowing out any water from the pipes, which can cause pipes to crack and leak.
If your system isn’t functioning properly—if there cracks in the pipes or broken components—you’ll want to have the problems fixed as soon as possible to ensure that you’re maximizing the return on your investment.
Of course, one way to help ensure that your commercial irrigation system doesn’t falter is to invest in high-quality parts on the front end, during installation. As with any product, you have options when it comes to sprinkler system parts.
Parts that cost less are generally less reliable and more susceptible to New Jersey’s cold, wet winters. Working with your technician to identify your lawn’s needs and research the different parts and manufacturers before you make a decision can save you money in the long run.
There are dozens of companies that manufacture commercial irrigation systems and parts, so comparing all of them can be a daunting task.
Luckily, the free market provides a plethora of information and it’s easy to determine which are the top brands.
In the United States (and largely around the world), Rainbird and Hunter are far and away the two most trusted and relied on brands for commercial irrigation systems. Both brands boast track records of success. Both offer a full line of parts and components. And both offer systems at a range of price levels—value, mid-range and high-end.
Rainbird makes quality parts. The company’s Rainbird 5004 is among the top-selling rotor heads in the country, dispersing water evenly at a very competitive price. The spray heads the make are reliable and generally well-built. And they make a control box that does the job efficiently and effectively.
Hunter offers all of the same benefits as Rainbird—and more.
The company’s PGP rotor is every bit as good (if not better) than the competition. It’s valves are widely considered the best in the world. And each and every component is engineered with precision. Hunter commercial irrigation systems are widely believed to be the most long-lasting, reliable systems available.
But what truly sets Hunter apart from the competition is the way it using smart engineering. Everything from the control box to the spray heads are intuitive and easy to use. And, in the off-chance something does go wrong, the company’s warranty program is second-to-none.
For technicians, working with Hunter parts and components is the difference between working with an Apple computer and working with a knock-off—everything is easier and more effective with a Hunter system.
Of course, you can choose to install cheaper, “economy” irrigations systems, but a little bit of internet research will show that they are often wrought with problems, including susceptibility to electrical surges, inability to withstand below-zero temperatures and less comprehensive warranty programs.
“We had a Hunter system … and rarely had any problems with it.”
“… customers in northern climates seem to prefer Hunter SRV or PGV series and tell us they believe the thicker and softer plastic of Hunter valves makes them more resistant to freeze damage.”
“Hunter rotor heads are, in our opinion, the very best rotor heads on the market today, bar none.”
These are three short excerpts from reviews of residential and commercial irrigation systems on Amazon.com. There are dozens more, and nearly every one places Hunter at the top of the lawn sprinkler system companies (with Rainbird running second).
That’s the beautiful thing about the internet: No matter what type of investment you’re making in your business, you can find others who’ve already done it—and they are more than willing to share their experiences with you.
Of course you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, so one of the best ways for you to hear authentic reviews of different commercial irrigation systems is to ask your friends, neighbors and business associates which types of sprinklers work for them.
After all, you can hire a consultant or talk to a technician, but face-to-face conversations often provide the best insight—and no significant business decision (or investment) should be made without quality insight.
Photo courtesy of Hunter Industries.