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BanksPower
01-11-2007, 07:15 PM
How is everyone?
I start my LI basic trainning class 1-15-07. Has anyone taken the Texas test recently. I have been in the landscape maintenance business for several years. I'm sure that alot of my questions will be answered when I start the class.

Is the test as tough as people make it out to be?

txgrassguy
01-12-2007, 07:32 PM
What would you call an examination that has a 40-60% first time failure rate?
Personally, I did not find the test difficult however I have several college degrees, one of which in agronomy and fluid dynamics was heavily covered.
The course should adequately prepare you for the test, just don't freak out when you take it - the test normally lasts for a minimum of six hours.
I'd recommend you have several good #2 pencils, your irrigation template and a calculator with large buttons (these are easier to use than the tiny pocket ones).

BanksPower
01-12-2007, 09:53 PM
Thank you for the response.
From what I gather the hydraulics portion of the test is most challenging.

Repairs
01-13-2007, 12:55 AM
When I took it ten years ago the hydraulics was a bear. I remember I had pressure loss calculation buzzing through my head for a week after the test. Have fun, and oh by the way DO NOT EVER LET YOUR LICENSE EXPIRE, that is unless you are getting out of the business. I did get a 97 on the hydraulics portion though. :drinkup:

jerryrwm
01-13-2007, 01:39 AM
Gotta agree with the fella from Georgetown. I'm up in Wisconsin where they have never heard of a license for irrigators (shows in some of the things I've seen) but I am fixin' to send off for the correspondence courses to get the CEUs. I've had this license since 1983 and I'm sure not going to let it lapse. So take those CEUs and send that fee in.

Hell might even see if there is a way the current boss will send me on the CEU cruise the Gulf Coast Irrigation Assn sponsors.

BanksPower
01-13-2007, 01:05 PM
Class starts Monday morning. Thanks for all of great feedback.

I will keep you posted on all of the fun!

Repairs
01-13-2007, 02:37 PM
Whose course are you taking?

BanksPower
01-13-2007, 09:58 PM
The course is a Basic Irrigation Class required by the State of Texas in order to sit for the exam. I am taking the course Jan. 15 - 19 (8 a.m.- 5 p.m.) in New Braunfels,Tx. given by Multi Services Unlimited (Jim Pentecost) out of San Marcos,Tx. www.multiservices.4t.com
I found them on the TCEQ webpage. I will be taking the test on Feb.28 in Houston.

Hope that helps...

sleeton
01-14-2007, 08:25 PM
i took the course from the same individual about 6 years ago and he prepared me for the test just fine, he also allowed me to come back for a free refresher since it was 2-3 months before i could get signed up for a test due to demand

Repairs
01-14-2007, 10:10 PM
I do remember taking the refresher when I originally got my license. I think it was the day before the test. Highly recommend spending the extra money to do that.

No Rush
01-15-2007, 10:46 AM
I took the class at Austin Community College (in Austin) in Oct 06, studied, took the test in San Antonio in Nov 06 and passed it my first time. The instructor did a very good job teaching me exactly what I needed to know. He owns his own Irrigation Business (Irrigation System Solutions) and he used his own book which I think is a great book.
I have not been in the business very long and am trying to transition to it full time. Prior to me attending the class I did one commercial irrigation/landscape installation which helped me understand a lot of what the instructor was talking about. I will say you do need to study before you go and take the test. It does have a high failure rate. Good luck and nice web page.

Top O' The Hill
01-15-2007, 09:45 PM
I took the test six years ago. 80% of the class failed and there were 129 people taking the test. Hydraulics and backflow seem to give everyone the most trouble. Best guy teaching in Texas is a guy named Phil Shepard out of Dallas. I passed with flying colors and my advice would be: take it real serious and review every day for a couple of weeks prior to the test. They ask questions that uses the info you learned but ask in different ways to make you really think.

BanksPower
01-20-2007, 12:07 AM
Well, I took the Basic Irrigators Course....Hmmm....... Just ask me about it!
I have ALOT of studying to do for this one.

Repairs
01-20-2007, 12:24 AM
Aint nothing like you anticipated was it? I can't remember half of what they taught me. Just remember that government agencies don't know the first thing about making money, or selling jobs.

txgrassguy
01-20-2007, 12:41 AM
I still say the test isn't hard provided you are prepared.
Hydraulics isn't difficult, nor is the friction loss calculations.
Licensing in Texas for Irrigation is a great idea in my opinion.
Although some of the hack jobs I see from supposedly license holders still makes me shake my head at times.

BanksPower
01-23-2007, 08:10 PM
I agree that all of the info you need to pass is given to you.
Now that I can see straight after the onslaught of the material that was thrown at me. I doubt I will have a problem with the test.

I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks again to all that responded.

Duekster
01-26-2007, 06:54 PM
How is everyone?
I start my LI basic trainning class 1-15-07. Has anyone taken the Texas test recently. I have been in the landscape maintenance business for several years. I'm sure that alot of my questions will be answered when I start the class.

Is the test as tough as people make it out to be?

Yes. Yes it is.

Duekster
01-26-2007, 06:59 PM
What would you call an examination that has a 40-60% first time failure rate?
Personally, I did not find the test difficult however I have several college degrees, one of which in agronomy and fluid dynamics was heavily covered.
The course should adequately prepare you for the test, just don't freak out when you take it - the test normally lasts for a minimum of six hours.
I'd recommend you have several good #2 pencils, your irrigation template and a calculator with large buttons (these are easier to use than the tiny pocket ones).I had Hydronicis in college as well and had worked with Fluid systems for many years.

I was rather impressed with the depth of the material presented.

None the less many systems are installed poorly. Frankly, I find it hard to sell a good system on a regular basis. I focus instead on repairs.

txgrassguy
01-26-2007, 07:56 PM
I really do not have much of a problem selling system installs.
Pretty much what has occurred through the last four years is that my reputation for the quality of work performed has become the standard for the other installers.
I hear this all the time from customers, especially when a more complex system is required.
I do feel, and my business supports this observation, that good quality work will continue to sell itself.
Regarding the test, I was absolutely amazed at the agonizing expressions I saw on the other examine's faces. These guys made it way to hard on themselves.
Yes, the material was represented well and was adequately covered on the test but I still say don't freak out and set yourself up for failure.

Duekster
02-11-2007, 05:56 PM
I really do not have much of a problem selling system installs.
Pretty much what has occurred through the last four years is that my reputation for the quality of work performed has become the standard for the other installers.
I hear this all the time from customers, especially when a more complex system is required.
I do feel, and my business supports this observation, that good quality work will continue to sell itself.
Regarding the test, I was absolutely amazed at the agonizing expressions I saw on the other examine's faces. These guys made it way to hard on themselves.
Yes, the material was represented well and was adequately covered on the test but I still say don't freak out and set yourself up for failure.

I would like to see better enforcement. I also would like to be able to see some sort of allowance for ET controllers and proper install, run times during droughts. Allowing watering once per week is killing landscapes.

This may be a good season to sell trees because I think a bunch of trees died last year. :hammerhead:

txgrassguy
02-11-2007, 08:02 PM
I too would like to see a much greater enforcement presence but I am not holding my breath.
I have spoken to TCEQ many times about unlicensed, non truck lettered, home depot component buying hacks, hell I have even provided photographs and addresses of work performed unlawfully and still the enforcement doesn't take place.
One jerk off who works in my AO was going around trying to sell up-grades and non existent repairs when he happened to knock on the door of a friend of mine.
Well, my friend told me about this guy and his conversation - particularly about the licensing aspect - the reply - I don't have a license and no one is checking anyways.
This jerk went to one of my job sites posing as an employee of mine and spoke to the property owner about additional work "off the books".
When I found out about this visit I tracked the dude down and he denied it. So I took my lock blade knife and flattened one of his truck tires - I denied it.
I really do not like to resort to the belly crawling level of some of these jerk offs but when they start messing with MY customers - all bets are off.

Duekster
02-11-2007, 08:16 PM
I too would like to see a much greater enforcement presence but I am not holding my breath.
I have spoken to TCEQ many times about unlicensed, non truck lettered, home depot component buying hacks, hell I have even provided photographs and addresses of work performed unlawfully and still the enforcement doesn't take place.
One jerk off who works in my AO was going around trying to sell up-grades and non existent repairs when he happened to knock on the door of a friend of mine.
Well, my friend told me about this guy and his conversation - particularly about the licensing aspect - the reply - I don't have a license and no one is checking anyways.
This jerk went to one of my job sites posing as an employee of mine and spoke to the property owner about additional work "off the books".
When I found out about this visit I tracked the dude down and he denied it. So I took my lock blade knife and flattened one of his truck tires - I denied it.
I really do not like to resort to the belly crawling level of some of these jerk offs but when they start messing with MY customers - all bets are off.


sadly, I am not a member of any association. I know there has been talk about even raising the rates to help the enforcement issue.

I spoke to a guy at one class, he told me about 2 peps in the class were busted by TECQ. The first got off easy provided he completed the test. The second got off but not so easybut far less than expected and still enough to want to cheat. He was not busted be decided it was time to test.

One of my suppliers say the NCTX market is the absolute worst at being cut throat in the entire nation.

We have huge population explosion, relatively bad drought. Personally, I thing the guys in Frisco have it right. We need to get involved more at the North Texas council of governments.

We should game plan......

PurpHaze
02-11-2007, 10:52 PM
I too would like to see a much greater enforcement presence but I am not holding my breath. I have spoken to TCEQ many times about unlicensed, non truck lettered, home depot component buying hacks, hell I have even provided photographs and addresses of work performed unlawfully and still the enforcement doesn't take place.

Government is great for passing laws and then not having the means to enforce those laws except to harass the hard working honest folk. :)

Duekster
02-12-2007, 10:21 AM
Government is great for passing laws and then not having the means to enforce those laws except to harass the hard working honest folk. :)

Is that not the truth. The only enforcement comes upon those trying to comply correctly. Folks not registered seem to fly under the radar forever.

TPnTX
02-25-2007, 10:43 AM
I'm studying for it now. I got a book same as what you buy for the class. I figured I'd learn the book, get some experience, then class/test.

Meanwhile I'm doing repairs and installs for friends. I sure hope no one slashes my tires though.

BanksPower
03-21-2007, 01:23 AM
Took the review on hydraulics yesterday and test Thursday in Bryan College Station. I feel pretty comfortable but was curious about the design portion.
I forgot about DRIP and cramming for that now.:dizzy:

txgrassguy
03-21-2007, 02:38 AM
TP, I am not sure the experience will assist you in the test.
The test is orientated towards text book knowledge and regurgitation of those facts in order to pass the test.
You might assist for a bit on some installs where you could be fortunate enough to find a boss that could actually explain the mechanics and principles associated with a good install.
Or take the class and as soon as possible after the class take the test.
I still say don't freak out about the test, there is no reason to add anxiety.
Approach the test this way, people before you have passed it so there is proven grounds to expect that you will pass it.
As far as the written part goes, adopt the mindset of the questions you received in class and remember this when under going the exam.
Then, once you have your license, find someone to work for in order to wet your feet so to speak so you do not make costly mistakes during your first install.
I'll tell all of you new Texas guy's, I'm doing several installs this month and next, if any of you are interested in coming down for a day or so and want to walk an install with me - just bring a buck or two for cold beer at the end of the day - and keep an open mind.

Duekster
03-21-2007, 07:39 AM
It has been a couple of years since I took the test.

The exam was all day. Take your time.

You do get a lunch break and you are not supposed to sit out in your car and look up the awnsers. They do look around the lot.

No Rush
03-21-2007, 07:41 AM
Just keep studing irrigation principles and hydraulics (such as how to figure static or dynamic water pressure at a point in the line, how to calculate foot of head, you'll have to figure all this out with elvation changes too.) Just keep studying and you will do fine.

No Rush
03-21-2007, 07:44 AM
oh yea, if you have an irrigation book keep it in your car and all your reference material too...

Mike Leary
03-21-2007, 02:45 PM
When you get your Texas irrigation ticket, does that mean you can test
backflow too? Up here in the rocks, all you need for irrigation work is a
shovel & a pickup.
Mike

Duekster
03-21-2007, 02:46 PM
Separate test and class for Back Flow Testing. You can install them but not test them.

BanksPower
03-22-2007, 10:42 PM
The test was not that bad. I have been very busy the past few weeks and wished I could have studied more. The design section caught me off gaurd but may have past it it with a 70 if that...lol The hydraulics section takes most of the time. Back flow has about 20 questions and the general knowledge has 50. I started the test around 8:10 am and finished at 2:50 pm. Most of the people finished around 2. You have 8 hours to take the exam. Eat a good breakfast and take a snack so you do not have to leave for lunch.

I will let you know my results in a few weeks!

Take care!

BanksPower
05-18-2007, 12:06 AM
I passed the test after re-taking the design section, AGAIN!

Mad Estonian
05-18-2007, 02:29 AM
Congrats, sounds like a tough test. That's good.

PurpHaze
05-18-2007, 08:11 AM
Congratulations for sticking with it and not giving up. :drinkup:

txgrassguy
05-18-2007, 10:16 AM
Great job!
Ditto on the sticking with it -

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-18-2007, 11:51 AM
I went to a school in Texas to study on how to take this test

32 class hours....

boy do they get right down to it.....how long did they say it was 6 hrs?or 4 hrs average?

BanksPower
05-18-2007, 10:44 PM
Thank you!
Now, I just need to get my feet wet(and everything else...lol)
I have never installed a system and getting a few pointers. I have seen some pretty crazy installs. Looks like alot of guys just throw away the rule book to make a few bucks.

Is this common practice?

No Rush
05-18-2007, 11:14 PM
Congratulations!

Remote Pigtails
05-18-2007, 11:32 PM
Thank you!
Now, I just need to get my feet wet(and everything else...lol)
I have never installed a system and getting a few pointers. I have seen some pretty crazy installs. Looks like alot of guys just throw away the rule book to make a few bucks.

Is this common practice?

Practice yes common no not in my book. Stick to your guns. Educate your customer. My Dad advised me to read a technical journal a week. I realize now that not only maintained my knowledge it also maintained my passion and people will pay top dollar for passion.

Remote Pigtails
05-18-2007, 11:35 PM
I went to a school in Texas to study on how to take this test

32 class hours....

boy do they get right down to it.....how long did they say it was 6 hrs?or 4 hrs average?

Rotar you were in Texas:cry:

Mad Estonian
05-19-2007, 02:52 AM
Educate your customer. My Dad advised me to read a technical journal a week. I realize now that not only maintained my knowledge it also maintained my passion and people will pay top dollar for passion.

That's dead on.

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-19-2007, 07:07 AM
Rotar you were in Texas:cry:



Yhea i was, thinking about moving down there..JK

to hot for me...The class I went to was taught by Ben Fisher.A highly educated gentleman in the business....You prob know him...He called me the CAPE COD KID....great course...and boy is it tuff to get a handle on some of that math..

you ever heard of Ben?

Remote Pigtails
05-19-2007, 07:37 AM
I've heard of Ben. Never took any of his courses but I've had him highly recommended to me for ceu classes.

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-19-2007, 07:47 AM
I've heard of Ben. Never took any of his courses but I've had him highly recommended to me for ceu classes.

I figured you would have heard of him...He does a wonderful job teaching water....His hydraulics course was top notch, and i wish i could take it again!!!!!!!I Knew most of the leg work about irrigation, but he opened my eyes to the Dynamic pressure,PSI loss/Gain/operating head pressure ect.....It blew my mind....My boss just sent me down there to learn some Hydraulics...And i did....I read more about irrigation now than i ever have.....I love learning new things about it and new TECH that comes out...
Not to be a PR person, but Ben is def top dog down there...I really want to take is advanced course, hopefully my boss will pay for it....
if you ever come across his path tell him the "cape cod CHARLIE" says hi.....At the time i could prob pass the TEXAS IRRIGATORS EXAM, now i would need to take a month or 2 to brush up on my math

good guy great course...sorry to blog out....

have a good day guys i gotta face the elements with my brand new rain pants.....take it easy RP

unit28
05-19-2007, 09:47 AM
I had my license.
I moved to MN and let it go.
I had the LI and the BPAT, and was taught by the best, Jerry at Sundance Irrigatioin training,
and certified water auditor from A&M

Now I have to study to be an electrician to get the irrigation license in MN.
No, I ain't kidding. Nothing is covered in any aspect of water conservation or hydrolics.
----------------------------------------------------

Technology Systems Contractor License:

What is a Technology Systems Contractor and why is this important to me?
Any low voltage electrical work must be performed by a "Technology Systems Contractor". This includes all irrigation work - wiring the valves, wiring the controller, wiring the rain sensor, and installing direct burial 24 volt wire that controls the entire irrigation system.
A "Technology Service Contractor" must be registered with the State, post a Bond and provide proof of insurance that meets State standards.
To see if your potential contractor is licensed, you can contact the State at 651-284-5064 or visit their website at www.electricity.state.mn.us
It is the Law.



We know nothing on hydrolics and our prices won't shock you....LOL

Mike Leary
05-19-2007, 11:55 AM
In Washington State only low voltage lighting requires a ticket..they have not
caught up with us....yet!!!!!

txgrassguy
05-19-2007, 06:04 PM
I just had a call from a "licensed" irrigator working on a system I installed over five years ago.
It seems this guy had never encountered a quick coupler before and told the customer that he could "just knock it off" - instead of re-levelling the device on it's swing joint.
The customer took a saw to the quick coupler and damned near drowned when that 1 1/2" mainline blew up in his face:)
The customer wanted me to come out and repair his screw up and when I mentioned what my service fees were he started stuttering.
Oh well, I never liked the jerk off anyways - I hope he likes his front yard "swimming pool".

BanksPower
05-19-2007, 11:03 PM
Has anyone been certified in Texas to inspect backflow devices?