Cold concrete, wet tires, and corn goo can make it difficult to keep a Juno running reliably.
This time of year in the Fraser Valley can be, at best, a sloppy mess. And at worst, a frozen, snow-covered hellscape. Our little robotic buddies may need some extra help in making sure their job gets done without sliding all over the place. If you have a Juno 100, Juno 150, or Vector MFR that's having some difficulty, we've got some things for you to try.
As long as your machine has the latest software (and it should, unless you didn't buy from us...) there is a traction control setting that can be adjusted. The Lely traction control system monitors the rotation of the wheels and the direction of travel. If it detects that a wheel is turning faster than it should - and the direction of the machine doesn't correspond - it determines that traction has been lost.
With this in mind, there are 4 different settings that can be selected: OFF, Low, Med, High. If 'OFF' is selected, the machine will do nothing to correct the slip, but it will still try and maintain a straight heading regardless. If 'Low', 'Med' or 'High' are selected, the machine will turn away from what it thinks is causing the slip. (For example, if the Juno is pushing feed on the left and detects slip, it will turn to the right slightly and try to drive around the slippery spot). The responsiveness to a slip condition is determined by the setting: a 'high' setting will respond sooner, a 'low' setting will respond later.
In some cases we have found that turning the traction control 'OFF' completely has been better for dealing with floors that are slippery all the way down the feed alley. For routes that take the machine outside or near areas of pooling water, keeping the traction control on 'Med' seems to work the best in most cases.
The settings can be found in the main menu: "Settings > Traction Control"
Feed Push Power
There is also a setting for the amount of power the Juno/MFR will use to push feed. You'd think you'd just want the thing to push as hard as it can. However, if your Juno/MFR is having trouble holding traction, backing off this setting may be helpful; when the machine comes across heavy feed, it will turn away slightly so it isn't pushing as hard, and hopefully not losing traction at the same time.
The settings can be found in the main menu: "Settings > Feed Push Power > Motor Power"
Juno 100/150 Skirt Adjustment
The height of the skirt on your feed pusher can play a role in overall performance. If the skirt is too high, feed (including corn goo) can get underneath, and pack into the treads of the wheels or jam them completely. This will definitely contribute to power traction and pushing performance.
If the skirt is slammed too low, it may cause increased resistance as the Juno tries to push feed, meaning that the tires will lose traction sooner.
The proper adjustment of the skirt isn't really an exact science. When I set them up, I'll raise the skirt until I can spin it freely with my boot. As it's spinning, I'll lower it until it contacts the floor, then lower it a couple extra cranks. I find that if I can move the skirt with one hand and a bit of effort it's usually where I want it. The skirt should spin while the Juno drives; if it's too high and not making contact it'll just sit there. If it's too low, there will be too much pressure for it to spin.
For instructions on how to adjust the skirt, contact our service team at 1-866-601-5532
MFR Skirt Adjustment
The MFR skirt operates differently than the Juno's. The skirt height is determined by an actuator that needs to be calibrated; your friendly WCR service tech will calibrate it on every maintenance, so there shouldn't really be any reason to adjust it.
However, the MFR has the ability to raise or lower its skirt depending on where it is on the route. For routes that take it outside, it is possible to lower the skirt to clear snow out of its path. Doing this is fairly straight-forward but it rather than outline it here, it is better to call us for directions for your specific route.
For situations that can't be resolved by trying the steps above, there is the option of purchasing tires with better grip that can be installed during the winter months. The downside is that they do wear out faster than the regular tires, but if you make a habit of swapping them back and forth, there's no reason you can't get a few seasons out of them.
For the Juno, we sell a tire (pictured above) that is actually designed for the Discovery manure scraper. It bolts on fine, but it is critical that the wheel diameter setting is changed, as the Discovery wheel is larger than the Juno OEM wheel. Call our team for instructions on changing the diameter.
For the MFR, special winter tires are available that can be bolted on with no other adjustments. They are made from a softer rubber compound so they will wear faster, but again, you can swap 'em out (or get them done during maintenance) as the seasons change.
If you have any other questions about making your Juno/MFR more reliable, don't hesitate to call our team at 1-866-601-5532! Press '2' to get a technician from the feeding department and they will be more than happy to talk you through any of the above procedures.