When it comes to irrigation projects, there is a heavy emphasis on what products to use. While this is one of the most important decisions to make, there are several choices available. Another critical decision must be who and which company those products are purchased from. Hiring certified companies and licensed contractors for installs needs to be on every grower’s list of required credentials for irrigation dealers.
Hire Certified Contractors
The Irrigation Association offers seven certification programs from landscape to agriculture that push professionals and companies to maintain specific standards of knowledge. Certification from the Irrigation Association shows that the Irrigation dealer or contractor has passed specified exams to demonstrate their expertise and proper understanding of irrigation systems and practices. In addition, the certified individual must maintain these certifications by completing continuing education credits which ensure that their knowledge is up to date.
Specifically for Agriculture, the Irrigation Association offers the Certified Agriculture Irrigation Specialist (CAIS) and the Certified Irrigation Designer (CID). These certifications should be a mandatory for any grower looking to hire a designer and contractor for their irrigation projects.
Hire Licensed Contractors
Another often overlooked aspect when choosing an irrigation dealer for your agriculture project is checking if they are a licensed, contractor. Many will say you don’t need to be approved for agriculture work, but that is far from the truth. The Contractors State License Board for California oversees the licensure for all contracting trades. This includes everything from General Engineering and Painting to Well Drilling and everything in between. Being licensed is required for any contractor to perform construction work, including agriculture-related work.
The company or license holder must show the experience as well as pass several tests to become licensed.
Often growers will look solely at the bottom line price of project estimates, and these quotes are almost always lower from unlicensed contractors. In addition, such things as worker’s compensation and general liability insurances are required of licensed contractors and are in place to protect the grower, which is reflected in project estimates.
Once you find the licensed contractor you want to work with, it is also essential to know who the licensee is. It should be someone actively working within the company, the owner or partner, manager, or other responsible employee involved with the day-to-day construction aspect of the company.
When it comes to Ag Irrigation dealers, there are several options available, and you always get what you pay for.