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"The Valley pivot, compared to other pivots, was a kind of an economy pivot. It was not very expensive, but it proved out to be one of the better ones in spite of the low cost. And that's what I was looking at was low cost pivot. And like I say, we operated that for near 30 years."
     Question: "Do you remember how much you spent on that first pivot?"
     "I think it was between $13- and $14,000. But the dollar was bigger then than it is now. It enhanced the income, that's what it did do for us. It kind of restructured the whole farming, you know. You could count on a crop. And that's why it was important. It looked a lot better to a banker, too, if they could count on it. But we just kept on going then, you know."
     Question: "Can you tell me about what it was like when that first pivot was installed for you?"
     "Well, it was all very new. It's just like a child with a new toy you know. He has to learn to use it… We soon got acquainted. And of course it was new. It didn't require too much maintenance, but we really needed to get acquainted with it. And one of the things I really needed to do that was important and that was to make sure that all the safety works. All the safeties would work. Otherwise the pivot tower would stop and all the rest would keep a going and it would damage the pivot. And we experienced that just once. And after that, we knew better how to take care of it… When you operate the pivot you need more pressure than you do when you just go in a gated pipe. And you need more pressure to operate the sprinklers. And I like to run the pivot at the lowest possible pressure because additional pressure requires more energy. And energy costs money and that's what we were trying to eliminate as far as we could. But anyway, we had to have a larger engine to operate the pivots."
     Question: "How reliable was your system?"
     "How reliable?"
     Question: "Yeah."
     "Well, the Valley was quite reliable considering the time in which it was designed. But they have improved pivots a great deal since then. And they are quite reliable. But it is very important that you maintain them properly and service them the way you should. It always calls for more and more wisdom and technology to deal with what they make for us. Whether it's a tractor or a planter."

William Luebbe – The First Pivots

   

Other Excerpts from William Luebbe’s Interview:

Korea & Vietnam
Television in the 50s, 60s
Learning New Technology
Minimum Tillage
50s Drought