Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Any pump can be primed, and any pump can be fed. The question of which option is better is dependent upon what the operator is trying to accomplish. In most cases, it will be the depth of the storage, and the debris in storage will dictate the best option.
Key advantages to priming include the following:
- Most efficient, no extra horsepower (fuel) is used to operate a secondary pump
- Less moving parts, more systems mean more things that can fail
Key advantages to feeding include the following:
- Deal with debris, submerged pumps handle debris well, but certainly primed pumps can do the same
- Consistent flow, a submerged pump can keep flow consistent even at greater depths
Puck pumps well over 200,000,000 gallons per year. Of that, we prime for about 60% and feed for about 40%. The best fit for your crew is genuinely dependent on your situation. Call and talk with a Puck representative for more information on the best fit for your organization.
Auto-Throttle controls the throttle on your pump automatically by monitoring inlet and outlet pressure and causing the engine to react based on the parameters you set. Auto-Throttle essentially allows you the flexibility to let your pump take care of itself. It is also a great alternative when you may be experiencing a weak cellular signal or no signal at all. If your pump is equipped with a flow meter, the control system will monitor flow and target a specific flow rate determined by the operator. It is also equipped with shutdown alarms that may be turned off or on that will send the engine to low idle and even shut the outlet gate if you so desire.
Lagoon agitation is all about efficiency and pressure. We need to force a stream of liquid vertically through many feet or lazy liquid to where the solids rest. If we create mass flow without pressure, we mix the water well but never reach the solids. If we squirt across the top of the liquid or force liquid horizontally, we accomplish very little except for creating a beautiful show.
Puck Boats utilize highly efficient closed impeller pumps that can create much higher pressure than competitors, enabling us to mine the solids off the bottom of the lagoon. Our agitators have hundreds of thousands of hours in service. We put a few thousand hours of service on our fleet of boats, and we know what works.
It’s always fun to watch a good belly flop, but they usually don’t win the diving competition. What are you agitating for, to create a good show or to deliver nutrients to the crops?
The first step to powering up Puck control systems is to turn on the master power switch. Once the panel has powered up, follow these steps:
- In the startup checklist screen, take the opportunity to look over the checklist items one at a time and check them off, and also do a general inspection of the unit
- Once all checklist items are performed and check off, hit ‘OK.’
- The password screen will appear
- If operating for the first time, enter that password you wish to use to access the unit in the future, then press ‘SET PW.’
- If the password has already set, enter the password and press ‘Login’
- The main operating screen will appear
- Ensure there are no system warning pop-ups
- Before starting, ensure that all people and equipment are clear of the machine
- To start the engine, press and hold the button with three circular arrows on the right-hand side of the touchscreen to the lower left of the roller knob until the engine has started
- To control the throttle, press the center of the roller knob so that the ‘ACTIVE’ light near the RPM readout on the screen turns green, then turn the roller knob.
- To turn off the engine, quickly tap the engine start button two times. The taps must be rapid, two taps within half a second.
- Once the engine is off, the electronics can be powered down via the master switch
Note: The master switch will not cause the engine to shut off if it is running. It must be shut off by rapidly double tapping the start button before turning off the master switch.
The Force Feed controls will monitor your hydrostat system and automatically adjust to maintain pressures determined by the operator. It will increase or decrease system pressure while it is running to keep the manure flowing most efficiently. By running it at lower pressures when they are required, it takes the load off of your engine which equals less fuel burned. It will also monitor temperature, fluid level, and system pressures and automatically shut the system off it senses a condition which will cause a catastrophic failure to your hydrostat system. When run together with Auto-Throttle they make the perfect couple.
Puck hose carts are very robustly built, and depending upon the hydraulics system on your tractor can reel on a lot of hose at once. The amount of hose one should reel depends upon the care that is taken at couplers.
Reeling couplers onto the cart is where most hose damage occurs. Damage occurs into ways. The first is when the coupler first passes around the center drum, and the hose is coming off the coupler is forced into a sharp 90, causing damage to the hose both inside and out, and often resulting in failure later. Proper practice is to back into the hose at the coupler so that the hose is loose on both sides of the coupler. This will prevent that damage.
The second opportunity for damage is just moments later when we make our first couple of rounds after the coupler. If we reel directly over the hose, or attempt to and have the hose slip across the coupler, the bark may be damaged or cut resulting in future failures.
If great care is taken in reeling around couplers, both backing into them to allow them to be loose on the cart, and then filling in carefully on both sides of the coupler before we reel over the top of it, most hose damage will be prevented.
If you are looking for a rule of thumb on how much hose to pull, we would say 2-3 lengths. Our carts are capable of doing much more, but the more weight we are pulling, the more opportunity we have to damage the hose if we make a mistake at a coupler.
What maintenance is required for most Hose Carts?
All Puck hose carts require very little maintenance. There are three grease points on the entire cart. One on each drum bearing and one the hitch pivot pin. Each one should be addressed on a weekly basis. The chain drives should also be checked on a weekly basis and adjusted as necessary.
Last but not least is the axle hubs. All Puck carts have oil bath wheel hubs. The oil level should be checked every day and before you get ready for road transport. It is also important to keep the tires properly inflated so they wear evenly and go through the field easier.
Custom applicators are trending toward larger and larger hose. The advantages of larger hose are immense. Laid out below is the effective size of hose, as compared to 6″ hose:
- 7″ – 2x the hose of 6″
- 8″ – 4x the hose of 6″
- 10″ – 12x the hose of 6″
The decision of hose size depends upon budget, total gallons, and the window of time which you have to get the work done. One thing is for sure; larger hose pays way more than it costs in most scenarios. It can mean you get more done in less time, need fewer pumps, consume less fuel, or all of the above.
In the new systems of today, 7″ hose is often used by operators who focus on low rate applications such as finishing barns. 8″ is often used by outfits who operate at farrowing facilities or dairies. Over 2015 and 2016, 10″ hose is making a big push into dairy operations.
Contact a Puck representative for help selecting the hose that is right for your operation.