Product and Service Directory
Variable Automation & Manufacturing • 877-827-2434 • http://www.variableautomation.com
Variable Automation & Manufacturing’s V1 automatic push tractor is designed to keep employees out of grain bins during cleanout by automatically operating sweep augers.
According to President Chad Wolfensperger (877-827-2434), “The V1 push tractor has multiple adjustment points for easy installation on any sweep auger ion bins up to 135 feet in diameter.”
Here is what some users say about the V1 automatic push tractor:
“We’re so used to having to crawl in the bins and babysit everything, so getting the V1 push tractor has been a godsend. Now we can walk away, let it do its job, and don’t have to worry about it.
“We just put it in last summer, so we’ve had it in the bin for one cleanout so far. It took us close to halfway around to get it dialed in on the box with the settings. But once we got a dial, it worked like a dream.
“We’re not using the light farm model, because it’s in a 78-foot-diameter, 350,000-bushel bin. The reason we chose this product was 90% for safety. It’s been a huge improvement.
“The old way we used to do it, it took three guys usually 3-1/2 days to completely clean the bins. With this system, we don’t have anybody in the bin with it, which is nice. All told, we only spent a day and a half before we had the bin floor swept and buttoned up ready for the next use, so it helped both on man-hours and on cutting down on our cleaning time.
“Overall, safety was the biggest factor, not having people in the bin while you’re doing that project. And then the time savings were immensely gratifying, because coops don’t clean out in December or January. They clean out in July and August, when it’s hotter than ever. ”
“It’s going to be 18 months or so since we got the first V1 tractors up and running. We purchased one of the light farm models for a small bin; all of the rest have been the commercial V1 model.
“One of our location managers saw it in Grain Journal and thought it was something we should try. We did, and it worked as well as we thought it would. We didn’t go searching for a lot of other options; we didn’t do side-by-side trials. We were happy with the first one installed.
“The reason we decided to install the push tractor was 100% safety, so we don’t have to put people in the bins. A lot of sweep augers in old, small commercial or farm-style bins have sweep augers that don’t move on their own.
“It certainly has helped us to clean grain out of some bins. With the zero-entry policy on grain bins for cleanout, you’d probably be comparing it to a grain vac situation. Grain vacs are an enormously time-consuming process, so this was an improvement in efficiency.”
“Last summer, we got a V1 commercial push tractor for a sweep auger. It works great. It probably took a couple of semi loads, a couple of thousand bushels to dial it in, fine tune it, and then it worked great. Then we actually moved it to another bin (with a different size of sweep auger), so we had to fine-tune it again, but that only took about 10 minutes, I think, and we had it dialed in right where we wanted it, and it worked great.
“The V1’s biggest benefit is keeping personnel out of the bin. It allows us to have only one person inside cleaning out the bin. There’s just one guy there loading the truck, and he doesn’t have to worry about the unit inside. It’s taking care of itself, and when the truck is full, you shut it down and you’re ready to go.
“Beyond that, the help we got from Variable Automation when we initially set it up made a big difference. We were able to contact them directly and get a little bit of advice on the wiring. We had a local electrician do the wiring, and he was able to talk to them directly and get the information he needed.”
Reprinted from Grain Journal January/February 2018 Issue