Milking equipment is an investment. Increasing the efficiency of your equipment will ensure your milking duties will be efficient for years to come. Here are a couple things to remember:
Proper Cleaning Products
Cleaning is the first step to making your equipment last. Before cleaning, it’s important to do an analysis of the water supply according to the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension. The analysis will examine whether or not there is mineral content or hardness. The Cooperative Extension recommends that a water softener be used if there are 30 grains per gallon in hard water or if the water hardness exceeds 10 grains per gallons, it might be necessary to increase detergent concentration. Then, it’s important to go by the manufacturer’s directions in order to clean it with the correct amount and concentration of water, temperature and contact time of the cleaning solution.
The Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension recommends rinsing the equipment with lukewarm water (100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit) after milking and then follow with washing and rinsing. Wash water should be above 120 degrees Fahrenheit and equipment should be stored in a way that the water can drain and air dry. Any liners and rubber parts should be replaced after any cracks or rough pieces have been detected. If the products pass the recommended number of milkings as mentioned in the manufacturer guide, then they must be replaced as well.
Click here to see an example of cleaning procedures.
Check Vacuum Levels
The vacuum levels should be checked daily to ensure the level stays the same during milking. The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center recommends checking the vacuum pump oil reservoir weekly and replace the filters in the vacuum regulators monthly. The milking equipment should be checked yearly by a service person to ensure everything still works properly.
Safety should be practiced when cleaning and proper employee training should be a priority. Keep an eye wash station nearby and always wear protective gloves and eye glasses to protect against any acid or detergent.
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