FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
Dairy Science Memo 57-3
October 30, 1957
Management of Milking Equipment
J. M. Wing and J. P. Boggs
Milking equipment is used twice every day regardless of season. It's the most
used and perhaps the least understood farm implement at the dairy. An equipment
service man recently reported that he traveled 160 miles to find trouble caused
by a hair in a pulsator. We believe installations and major repairs should be
left to service men with special training and equipment, but that minor difficul-
ties often can be overcome quickly by referring to the following outline of
malfunction of milking equipment and their causes.
A. Slow Milking.
1. Inflation may have burst. This trouble is easily detected because
leaking inflations usually cause a hissing noise.
2. Inflations may be stretched. Useful life of rubber inflations can
be extended many times by keeping two sets and alternating them at
weekly intervals. The set not in use is stored dry in a refrigerator.
The cold reconditions and restores elasticity to the rubber.
3. Vacuum may be too low,
a. belt between motor and vacuum pump could be slipping due to
wear or improper adjustment,
b. oil in vacuum pump may be too low,
c. vacuum line could have a leak,
d. air hoses or operating covers may be leaking,
e. vacuum pump may be overloaded,
f. vacuum line or hoses may be plugged (they should be thoroughly
cleaned at least once each week even though nothing but air
supposedly goes through them),
g. pulsators may be set too fast.
B. Uneven Milking.
1. One or more of the inflations may be leaking or excessively worn.
2. Teat cups may not be properly attached to the cow.
3. Air hose may be leaking.
4. Teat may be malformed or injured.
C. Irritated Teats.
1. Machine may be left on too long.
2. Machine may have been pulled off without breaking vacuum. To release
the vacuum--push in on the udder above a teat cup, thus allowing air
to enter the system.
3. Pulsator may be set too slow.
4, Pulsator may have stopped due to failure of the mercoid switch on
equipment using this device.
5. Pulsator may be damaged or worn out.
6. Pulsator may be blocked by dirt or hair.
7. Vacuum may be too high,
a. vacuum regulator may be stuck; it should be inspected and
cleaned at regular intervals,
b. pump speed may be too fast.
Being alert to detect minor malfunctions of milking machine systems and being
able to remedy them will save many service calls.
October 30, 1957