Finally, we also control the quality of every component and each step in the irrigation gearbox manufacturing process. A devoted team of buyers, engineers, quality inspectors and machine operators works night and day to make sure each component satisfies the stringent Valley quality requirements. Because our suppliers are located in the United States, we can simply perform random inspections of their services to make sure they are meeting our quality standards. All major components are also machined by Valley, providing another quality level control. A final inspection is conducted by testing each gearbox before it really is shipped. And, to help expand make sure 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 components. 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, unique wheels are used that truly move the guts of the tire nearer to the gearbox output bearing compared to the industry standard, reducing the strain on the gearbox.
Valley also uses U.S.-made, case-hardened bearings created from ultra-pure steel rather than through-hardened Chinese bearings utilized by others. Case-hardening provides excellent wear features while maintaining the internal toughness of the core material. As a result, Valley bearings possess a 40 percent greater 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, moreover, the design has a fully recessed tooth action. With a completely recessed design, the gears keep lubrication oil between the gears longer, reducing friction for increased load capacity and longer life.