Troubleshooting a Dairy Drafter/Sort Gate

Try these solutions if you have a problem with your Dairy Drafter

Rosemary Stone avatar
Written by Rosemary Stone
Updated over a week ago

An animal has become trapped in the saloon gate

A number of animals have queued closely and barged into the saloon gate; An animal has become stuck.
OR
The Dairy Drafter may have malfunctioned.

  1. Immediately press the emergency stop button.
    This will immediately stop air pressure in the gates so that they can be moved manually.

  2. Step into the race and manually free the trapped animal. Clear the animals immediately behind her, sorting them manually into the correct pens.

  3. Exit the race, then turn the emergency stop button clockwise to release and reset it. Animals should now draft correctly.

There are no LEDs illuminated on the control unit, gate manager or ID My Cow readers

The power supply to the Dairy Drafter may have accidentally been turned OFF. Check that the Dairy Drafter is plugged in and switched ON.

The circuit breaker for the Dairy Drafter may have tripped. Check the circuit board to make sure the circuit breaker for the Dairy Drafter is ON.

Cables may be damaged. Inspect cables for visible damage. If any are damaged, contact your Customer Success team for a replacement. Depending on which cable it is, a technician or registered electrician may need to assist.

The power supply may be faulty. Ask a registered electrician to check the power supply to the Dairy Drafter.

I have received a notification that the Dairy Drafter is Offline

There may be an internet outage.

Check the Connectivity LED on the control unit. It should be illuminated:

In the web app, go to My Devices, Dairy Drafter. The Dairy Drafter should have a tick beside to indicate it is Online.

If you have confirmed that the Dairy Drafter is offline:

  • For a Wi-Fi and ethernet internet connections, check that the farm’s modem is connected to the internet and functioning correctly. Try resetting the modem.

  • For a 4G (LTE) internet connection, use a mobile phone beside the Dairy Drafter to check the signal strength (number of bars). Contact the internet provider to verify that the SIM account is still active.

Note: Depending on the time when the internet outage occurred, some animals may still be drafted, even if the Dairy Drafter is offline. You should restore the internet connection as quickly as possible to ensure drafting accuracy.

The Dairy Drafter is not drafting cows, even though it is receiving power

The emergency stop button may have been activated. If this has happened, the emergency button will be depressed. The air pressure on the pneumatic regulator will still read 0.5 MPa/73 psi, but the saloon gate and drafting gates will not be functioning and will seem ‘floppy’. Turn the emergency stop button clockwise to release and reset it.

The air compressor may have accidentally been switched OFF. Check that the air compressor is plugged in and switched ON.

The circuit breaker for the air compressor may have been tripped. Check the circuit board to make sure the circuit breaker for the air compressor is ON.

Cables may be damaged. Inspect cables for visible damage. If any are damaged, contact your Customer Success team for a replacement. Depending on which cable it is, a technician or registered electrician may need to assist.

The power supply may be faulty. Ask a registered electrician to check the power supply to the Dairy Drafter.

A particular animal is not being drafted, even though other animals are being drafted correctly

There may be Duplicate IDs in the herd. Duplicate IDs can cause the Dairy Drafter to draft the wrong animal. Resolve the Duplicate IDs to prevent this error.

Animal has lost its active tag (ID My Cow identification option) or EID tag (EID identification option).

  1. Use the Datamars Livestock web app to verify when the animal was last seen (My Devices / Active Tag) and whether the animal should have been drafted (Drafting).

  2. Apply a new active tag or EID tag and update the animal record in Datamars Livestock (My Herd / Animals).

Active tag has a flat battery (ID My Cow identification option).

  1. Use the Datamars Livestock web app to check whether an active tag has a flat battery (My Devices / Active Tag / Battery remaining) and whether the animal should have been drafted (Drafting).

  2. Apply a new active tag or EID tag and update the animal record in Datamars Livestock (My Herd / Animals).

Beam sensors may be dirty, OFF or not calibrated correctly. Check the function of the beam sensors. If one of the beam sensors is not functioning correctly:

  1. Clean the beam sensor thoroughly with a damp cloth.

  2. Check that the bottom adjuster on the beam sensor has been turned in a clockwise direction as far as it will go (small circle closest to the L).

  3. Re-calibrate the beam sensor by placing an object ¾ way across the race.

  4. If the beam sensor is still not functioning, contact the Customer Success team for a replacement.

If the saloon gate actuation is sluggish, the micro switches in the channel which control the saloon gate may not be functioning correctly. Contact the Customer Success team for advice.

Air compressor has insufficient pressure. Set the air pressure on the pneumatic regulator to 0.5 MPa/73 psi or above.

The Dairy Drafter is making unusual noises

The air line may have a leak. Check for a leak in the air line between the air compressor and the gates or a leak in one of the gates. Replace air line as required.

The saloon gate or drafting gates may have loose or squeaking hinges/hinge joints. Check and adjust the gates.

If squeaking or chattering noises are coming from the channel, pump grease into the main grease line going into the channel (5 pumps, one per second). See Maintenance and checks. If the noises persist, contact the Customer Success team for advice.

No animals are being drafted even though the system seems to be operational

ID My Cow identification - Active Tags are not being read by ID My Cow. Check that the Primary and Node Readers are correctly positioned and haven't been knocked. Check that the activation antenna is still correctly oriented at a 45 degree angle towards animals as they approach the Dairy Drafter. Check the LED lights on the Primary Reader. The Power LED should be illuminated. If not, check all of the ID My Cow components and cables for damage. If necessary, contact the Customer Success team for advice.

EID identification – electrical noise is causing interference. Contact the Customer Success team for advice.

If you are still unsure, call or email the Datamars Smart Farming support team. See below.

Having trouble?

  • Phone the Datamars Smart Farming support team:
    AU 1800 248 774
    NZ 0800 248 722
    US +1 (888) 431-0957 (toll free).
    UK +44 20 4571 7717
    IE and EU +353 (21) 242 8844

  • Ask us a question in the blue messaging tool on the bottom right hand side of your screen.

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