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  #1  
Old 01/07/17, 06:47 PM
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Vacuum pumps for bucket milker

Coming to the cattle forum to get more opinions on backyard dairying. I've been doing a lot of research over a few years on putting together my first milking machine. I'd really like to get it going before March because we will be freshening 4 goats. I'd like to milk 2 at a time.

I've got a complete 2 goat bucket setup from Parts Department. (http://www.partsdeptonline.com/COMPL...nfo/962685G-2/ THIS ONE to be specific) I am looking for a vacuum source that won't break the bank. Tried keeping my eyes open used locally, but many need repair, aren't sure if they run, and having no experience or time, didn't want to go that route.

Tried emailing Perry's milkers about a vacuum source but received a snarky reply after sending them a link to a pump I was looking at at amazon and then following up with "will it work and if not, what would you suggest that you sell?" Received a snarky response I think due to the email formatting with the link, and they missed the "sell me something" part to my email. I replied to clarify and haven't heard back yet... But don't really appreciate the instant slightly snarky response as a customer either.

This is the one I'm looking at on Amazon, a 12cfm 1HP: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2QSX0WT38UK5G

I would be making a PVC balance tank with a vacuum gauge and pressure regulator and shut off. The response from Perry's made it seem like it wouldn't work because it's a constant vacuum, but without further explanation - I have a pulsator on my bucket?

I'm just hoping to not eventually get fed up with figuring this out and buying the mobile 1295.00 vacuum source from Parts Dept on a payment plan. I'd really like to not spend that much money if possible, but maybe it's worth the ease factor for someone like me with zero experience in milking machines and quickly getting frustrated with conflicting information. I know I've seen other systems with a vacuum pump similar to the one on Amazon and just don't see why it wouldn't work. This DIY uses a 6cfm: http://smallholderhollow.com/project...lking-machine/

Anywho, just looking for some advice. TIA!
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Small herd of French and American Alpines. CAE, Johnes neg yearly. CL abscess free herd. ADGA plus herd (LA, DHIR, DNA)
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  #2  
Old 01/08/17, 04:54 AM
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figure 5 cfm per bucket you should be OK.
Build a decent sized balance tank and keep liner slippage to a minimum and learn to get your inflations on the animal quickly.
You don't need a pressure regulator, you need a vacuum regulator. Using the proper terminology will help get good answers.

Quote:
The response from Perry's made it seem like it wouldn't work because it's a constant vacuum,
Makes no sense...vacuum pumps are always constant vacuum.
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  #3  
Old 01/08/17, 09:37 AM
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Lots of people are using pumps of the nature you showed. Most seemed to use GAST brand pumps.

I've been trying to help people out with this exact topic for a while on the familycow board.

Here's a thread I have going right now that teaches you how to build your own vacuum pump for significant savings and boost in performance:

http://familycow.proboards.com/threa...build-tutorial

There's a lot more info on milkers and stuff over on that forum. This one is pretty dead in regards to family dairy.

Sammy is right though. I've read a bucket milker only needs 2-3 CFM. Others say 5. So that pump you linked to would be fine.

Here's another thread I made explaining the basics of Vacuum pumps as well:

http://familycow.proboards.com/threa...acuum-pump-101

You're also correct, Perry's was not understanding what you're saying. All vacuum sources are constant, it's up to the vacuum regulator and the pulsator to regulate that vacuum at the cow.
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  #4  
Old 01/08/17, 04:29 PM
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Thanks everybody! Yes, vacuum regulator is what I meant of course. Simple misspeak. This is what I sent to Perry's:

Quote:
I purchased a 2 goat bucket milking system from Parts Department a while back. I have since been keeping an eye out for a vacuum pump as the one they have available with a balance tank is 1200.00. I think I am capable of making a balance tank myself. My father had bought a 3cfm pump from Harbor Freight but when hooked up wouldn't run the pulsator even directly... it didn't seem to have much draw. Now I'm looking at this one on amazon, a 12cfm 1hp, 340 l/m. (link was inserted here, same as above) I was just wondering if this would be adequate OR if you offer a vacuum pump that would work?
The reply I received:

Quote:
Don't know why you come to me at this point, but the pump you sent me pictures of is exactly what will cause problems. It is an AC pump and will pull straight vacuum. It will not work with a pulsator. You could have saved a lot of money going in a different direction.
So I'm really not seeing where the problem with the pump is, but am feeling better about giving it a try after asking you guys. Thanks for the links to other forums too.
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Caprice Acres

Small herd of French and American Alpines. CAE, Johnes neg yearly. CL abscess free herd. ADGA plus herd (LA, DHIR, DNA)
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  #5  
Old 01/09/17, 08:19 AM
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That's an interesting response from Perry's.

Reading it, the only thing I can think of is that he assumes you want to hook up the pump directly to the cow without a balance tank/header to separate out your lines. But that doesn't really make sense because you explained your feeling that you could provide your own tank.

My second thought is that maybe he's insinuating that style of pump wont have very much flow, just a high vacuum. Which is a point I've tried to caution people on before. However, the pump you linked to should easily have the CFM you need based on the description, and plenty of people use those AC type pumps. My guess is that your harbor frieght pump is "being generous" with it's CFM rating, and likely didn't have enough to run your stuff. Keep in mind, the CFM rating goes way down, the more vacuum you pull.

Either way, I see no reason to be snarky with you. You may not be wanting to buy your entire system from him, but you certainly could have bought a pump. Oh well. His loss.
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  #6  
Old 01/09/17, 08:21 AM
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evidently someone does not know how a pulsator works.
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  #7  
Old 01/09/17, 10:37 AM
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You got a reply from them like that because they sell items that you are looking for. You sent them links of other companies products and said you could do things your self and then asked them for help. If you would have left the link out and inquired about what they offered that would fit your operation, you probably would have received a much different response.
Any good business person, that wishes to stay in business, won't help out the competition. Basic rule of doing business.
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  #8  
Old 01/09/17, 01:42 PM
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Following. I just ordered a bucket milker for one cow, also looking for a vaccum pump set up for it!
Btw, how easy is it to convert a one cow bucket to a 2-goat bucket?
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  #9  
Old 01/11/17, 06:42 PM
 
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The pump will be more than you need. I have a voit that has been running every day for nearly 2 years.

http://www.viot.us/showproduct.php?model=Milker&sw=0
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  #10  
Old 01/11/17, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire View Post
You got a reply from them like that because they sell items that you are looking for. You sent them links of other companies products and said you could do things your self and then asked them for help. If you would have left the link out and inquired about what they offered that would fit your operation, you probably would have received a much different response.
Any good business person, that wishes to stay in business, won't help out the competition. Basic rule of doing business.
That's fair, but I essentially said "If it won't work, sell me something" at the end there. Clearly I'm learning. If they had time to respond snarky, they had time to educate me with as few sentences and try to sell me a product. Says right on the website to contact with questions, that's what I did. I'd have loved to hear what products they sell because I'd know they're tried and true and likely still reasonably priced. Even if they were a bit pricier, I probably would have honestly gone that route since I am so inexperienced and this pump from amazon is still more of a 'risk' than a known purposebuilt product. I also need gauges and a vacuum regulator for the balance tank but I guess I won't be patronizing them should they offer such products either - I have yet to receive a reply to my last email explaining myself a bit better. So maybe the seller didn't like it, but I was truly looking to buy.
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Caprice Acres

Small herd of French and American Alpines. CAE, Johnes neg yearly. CL abscess free herd. ADGA plus herd (LA, DHIR, DNA)
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  #11  
Old 01/12/17, 10:46 AM
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I guess I would have simply stated what you were trying to accomplish and then ask what they offer that would work. Example: "Hello, I am new to the world of small scale milking and am in the process of setting up my milking machine. I am having a bit of an issue with getting a pump that will run my pulsator correctly. My father bought a pump from harbor freight that he believed would work and it isn't. What do you have that would work with my specific set up." Then go on to explain the details of the set up. Leave out links to other companies. Even if you want to purchase from someone else, leave that out. Get some knowledge from an experienced professional and go from there. Jmho.
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  #12  
Old 01/19/17, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caprice Acres View Post

The reply I received:

Don't know why you come to me at this point, but the pump you sent me pictures of is exactly what will cause problems. It is an AC pump and will pull straight vacuum. It will not work with a pulsator. You could have saved a lot of money going in a different direction.

If I received a reply like that from a vendor I would never do business with them again...I don't care if they misunderstood the question.
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  #13  
Old 01/24/17, 11:16 AM
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I purchased a Viot 1/2 horse 'Deep Cycle' (whatever that means) 6CFU rated pump last week. It was very inexpensive, but reviews were mixed.
Some said it konked a month in, some said it'd been a workhorse from day 1 for 3 years.
From reading, it seems that moisture getting in is the biggest killer. So the people that have had them for a long time all say a Balance Tank is required. I made one out of 4" pvc last week and hooked it all up. Seems to be running great, and I actually had to dial the regulator way back to keep the vacuum low enough for my one-cow bucket.
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Old 01/25/17, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caprice Acres View Post
That's fair, but I essentially said "If it won't work, sell me something" at the end there. Clearly I'm learning. If they had time to respond snarky, they had time to educate me with as few sentences and try to sell me a product. Says right on the website to contact with questions, that's what I did. I'd have loved to hear what products they sell because I'd know they're tried and true and likely still reasonably priced.
Their website may say to ask questions if they have them. Usually that means to ask questions about their products, not to trouble shoot problems for people that dont even own their product. As a sales person, I was asked all the time questions about what products I had that compared to another similar product. I could honestly answer them. When someone asked me why a competitors product wasn't working correctly I would merely say, "I don't know. You didn't buy that from me, so why are you asking me for help". Some people would get offended like you did in this case, and some people would get my point, which was that I didn't have any skin in the game so why waste my time figuring out their problems, when they didn't buy from me in the first place.
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Old 01/25/17, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravytrain View Post
If I received a reply like that from a vendor I would never do business with them again...I don't care if they misunderstood the question.
Please, it's hardly a harsh response. Have we all gotten so soft that we can't even be told the truth anymore? I would have answered his email in a similar manner. He doesn't own one of their products and asked them if a cheap knock off would work. That's like asking a porsche dealer about a Toyota at another dealership.
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  #16  
Old 01/25/17, 07:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire View Post
Please, it's hardly a harsh response. Have we all gotten so soft that we can't even be told the truth anymore? I would have answered his email in a similar manner. He doesn't own one of their products and asked them if a cheap knock off would work. That's like asking a porsche dealer about a Toyota at another dealership.
Nope, not a harsh response...just an indifferent one. She had a nonfunctional system and she wanted a functional system. A good salesperson would recognize that as an opportunity...either now or in the future. A "what the heck do you want me to do about it"? attitude isn't going to garner many sales, immediate or otherwise.

Their lack of customer service skills will be an opportunity for their competitors. It's not about being butthurt because the truth hurts...this is about problem solving for a potential customer. A non-functional milker is sort of a time sensitive problem that most customers would needed operational right away. Maybe today it's a new pump, a valve or an o-ring...maybe just some free advice and goodwill toward the next sale some other day.

I run four successful companies, three of which involve dealing with customers daily. If you want to earn customers' business and keep it for life you have to act like you value their business in both word and action.
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  #17  
Old 01/25/17, 03:28 PM
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I'm not denying that you must earn customers trust and money. What my point is that if you want help with a ford, you go to a Ford dealer, not a Chevy dealer. That salesman has no skin in the game, and the OP is trying to get the dealer to give him trade info on a cheap knock off.
I also run a business that deals with customers daily. I have customers today that I got my first year in business. They ask questions, I give them answers, whether they like them or not, but my answers are as truthful as I can be.
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Old 01/25/17, 06:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire View Post
I'm not denying that you must earn customers trust and money. What my point is that if you want help with a ford, you go to a Ford dealer, not a Chevy dealer. That salesman has no skin in the game, and the OP is trying to get the dealer to give him trade info on a cheap knock off.
I also run a business that deals with customers daily. I have customers today that I got my first year in business. They ask questions, I give them answers, whether they like them or not, but my answers are as truthful as I can be.
So, if you're a Stihl dealer and a guy comes in that fried his bar on his Husky..and you have an Oregon bar that will fit his saw. You don't sell him the bar? You don't show him how to clean the bar and grease it? You don't show him a bar grease gun in case he needs one?

Even if he didn't buy a bar from me I'd pick up a bright shiny Stihl and show him how he could avoid burning up bars in the future. By the time he got in the truck he'd be scratching his head wondering why he didn't buy his saw from me. When he buys his next saw, I bet he at least gives me an opportunity to show him some saws.

This scenario is much more analogous to Caprice's experience than a Ford/Chevy scenario...and btw, a good businessman ALWAYS has skin in the game.
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Old 01/25/17, 08:16 PM
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Well we obviously come from different schools of thought on the customer service aspect of this. Both are fine, as there is more than 1 way to skin a cat. Even the best salesman isn't going to get every sale.
And I don't agree with your statement about always having skin in the game. The sales man that isn't around anymore has none. Can't stay open for business if you don't make sales. Can't make sales trouble shooting problems for customers with other people's products in hopes of getting that persons next sale. Might be years before a person needs to buy another product that I'm selling. Bottom line is that cupcake has product a and went to the maker of product b for help. The guy still told him what the problem was. Even with attitude cupcake still got the answer. The guy doesn't stay open for business giving out free advice. Buy his product and I'd expect him to stand behind it, and remedy issues with it. Buy someone else's product and still expect him to fix the issues for free is not a good business plan.
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Old 01/25/17, 09:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire View Post
Buy someone else's product and still expect him to fix the issues for free is not a good business plan.
Hmmm...I don't see anyone suggesting this.
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