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Push and pull and make it move

July 30, 2008
Rotary cowshed

The great thing about rotary cowsheds is that they speed your milkings up no end. That sure is a great thing - who wants to be stuck in the shed all day milking the cows?

The bad thing about rotary cowsheds is - you're up shit creek if something breaks down.

That's exactly what happened to us this evening. We have 10 cows to milk now (luckily, only 10) and they were all lined up in the yard ready to go. But after flicking the switch and pulling the cord, the rotary platform just stayed put.

Ok, try that again. Switch it off, switch it on, pull the cord a few times. Nope, it wouldn't budge.

Now you could say it's good this happened to us now with only 10 cows, rather than in a few weeks when the whole herd will be ready to milk, but you don't get a nice feeling starting the season off with something that suddenly stops working when it really shouldn't.

The cowshed had a new motor and electronic controller installed only a short while ago so it really should work and should be an improvement over the setup of the last few years. But the problem with electronic controllers is that it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of a failure.

Sure, a technician could come out and have a fiddle around but that would be an awefully expensive callout at 6pm. However, after trying unsuccessfully for an hour to get the platform started we booked one in for early tomorrow morning all the same.

In the meantime, it was a case of getting under the platform, detaching it from the motor then getting up and giving it a good push. Luckily that worked and we were able to get by, for now. As I said earlier, it's a good thing we only have 10 cows to milk since pushing 360 of them around the platform 36 at a time would be job near impossible...

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