Finally, we also control the standard of each component and each part of the manufacturing process. A dedicated team of customers, irrigation gearbox engineers, quality inspectors and machine operators works night and day to ensure each component fulfills the stringent Valley quality requirements. Because our suppliers are positioned in the United States, we can certainly perform random inspections of their facilities to make sure they are meeting our quality standards. All major components are also machined by Valley, providing another level of quality control. A final inspection is performed by testing each gearbox before it really is shipped. And, to help expand make certain Valley quality, randomly chosen gearboxes are life-tested inside our gearbox testing laboratory.
But, even the very best gear design and materials won’t help if the gearbox isn’t sealed from the elements. That’s why Valley uses a patented six-barrier input and nine-barrier result seal to keep oil in and complications out. To compensate for this longer shaft, particular tires are used that truly move the guts of the tire nearer to the gearbox output bearing than the industry standard, reducing the load on the gearbox.
Valley also uses U.S.-made, case-hardened bearings created from ultra-pure steel rather than through-hardened Chinese bearings used by others. Case-hardening provides superior wear characteristics while maintaining the internal toughness of the core material. Because of this, Valley bearings possess a 40 percent higher load rating.
The Valley gearbox also has a 52:1 gear ratio. This means the gearbox uses 4 percent much less energy to move the device through the field, but, more importantly, the design has a fully recessed tooth action. With a fully recessed design, the gears maintain lubrication oil between the gears longer, reducing friction for increased load capability and longer life.