Your rubberware is calling you
There is a good reason why rubberware in the dairy shed needs to be changed annually, says Skellerup’s National Sales Manager, Mark England.
Mark says while there is a lot of awareness about the importance of changing milking liners every 2,500 milkings, it is also critical to remember the rest of the rubber in the dairy shed.
“Every day of its life, rubber tubing is exposed to tension, milk fat, acid, alkali, hot and cold water, debris and detritus,” says Mark.
He also comments detergent choices and water temperatures are key components which can help extend or shorten the lifespan of rubberware. Increasing the strength of detergent solutions beyond manufacturers’ recommendations has an adverse impact on rubber. That includes tubing, bends, elbows, sleeves and the milk filter keepers.
“While the tubing may look perfectly fine outwardly, it can be eroded and pitted where the interior surface comes into contact with milk. By the time you see or feel cause for concern externally, the inside has almost always been damaged by milk fat and cleaning compounds. “But until a milk quality problem crops up, you may have no reason to suspect there’s a risk associated with it.”
Mark advises farmers to watch for splits and holes in rubberware as this can cause vacuum loss and changed pulsation characteristics, including issues with cup slippage. “That’s why we support the best practice of replacing all rubberware that touches milk every year, rather than waiting until you see signs of splits, wear or perishing on the outside,” Mark says.
He also recommends checking air tubing too, replacing the tubing every two years. Plus, check claw and pulse tubes and note down any changes.
“It can be a chore, but following a simple maintenance and replacement schedule for all dairy rubberware helps your plant remain efficient and productive for a relatively low outlay. Plus, it’s peace of mind when you know your plant is well-maintained,” says Mark.
To replace your dairy rubberware choosing from the Skellerup range, visit your local PGG Wrightson store, or check out the July Stock 'n' Save.