If there's one thing that every dairy farm needs, it's tools. From performing day-to-day maintenance on your machinery to fixing some broken piece of farming equipment, it's only when you don't have the appropriate tool on your farm that you realize how much you actually need it. So, what are some of the must-have tools you need to maintain your dairy farm's machinery and equipment?
Dairy farms need a wide range of tools to maintain machinery and equipment. Apart from tools like hammers and wrenches, you need tools that could solve milking parlor problems like clogged pipes and pumps. Various other tools are required to maintain farming equipment like tractors, cutters, and generators.
We will look at the tools you need according to three categories: tools for maintaining dairy farm-specific machinery, tools for repairing farm equipment, and general must-have tools. We've got a lot to cover, so let's get started right away.
Tools For Maintaining Dairy Farm Machinery
Your milk parlor has plenty of dedicated machinery that must work perfectly to perform as it should. Sometimes, you won't even notice a problem with your milking machine until you find reduced milk production or health problems with your cows. Therefore, it's essential to do your checks regularly and have some tools that can help you quickly fix the issues you find.
Perished or cracked hoses are a common problem with milking machines. Even if you do your inspections regularly, it's easy to miss a weak spot in a hose that could be causing pressure and vacuum problems.
If your hoses are long enough, the easiest temporary solution is simply to cut off the perished part, especially if it's right next to one of the ends (which it often is).
To solve this, ensure that you have some hose cutters handy. Get ones that work with the type of material you're using. Most, like the Gates 91143, can cut through almost any material and hose thickness, so even if you switch from rubber hosing to more durable plastic or PVC hoses, the cutters will still do the job.
Hose Patching Tape
Sometimes you can't cut off a piece of the hose because the hole or crack is in a difficult position or because the pipe isn't long enough to allow it. In such a case, you can use proper hose patching or sealing tape such as Gorilla tape.
People often advise using chemicals to rejuvenate your pipes or to seal them. Common examples are:
- Using a mixture of transmission fluid and brake fluid to reduce the hardness of the hose and help it seal better
- Applying rubber cement and a tire patching kit
- Applying any kind of glue to the crack or hole to seal it
These solutions work well for most pipes, but it's best not to use them in lines that move milk. If traces of those chemicals get into the milk, there's no telling what could happen, as it could pose serious health risks and possibly damage your equipment.
That's why proper water-proof rubber sealing tape is the best solution. Even so, you should consider it nothing more than a temporary fix to keep milk production going while you get a replacement hose.
- PERMANENT: Creates a permanent bond that instantly seals out air, water, and moisture.
- INDOOR / OUTDOOR USE: Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal tape works great on indoor and outdoors repairs and even under water.
- EXTRA THICK: Has an extra thick adhesive layer and UV resistant backing.
- FLEXIBLE: Conforms to the surface to repair holes, cracks, gaps, and tears.
- FIXES LEAKS: Repairs leaks in roofs, rubber, plastic or vinyl pool liners, and so much more.
A Brush For Cleaning Clogged Air Bleed Vents
The milk claw should have a small ventilation hole at the end, also known as the air bleed vent. Its purpose is to create a leak of air into the claw that will ease the milk flow from the teat into the milk hose. Clogged vents will cause the milk to dam up inside the claw rather than flow through the system, slowing production and potentially injuring your cows.
Unfortunately, milking parlors provide the perfect environment to clog these vents due to the abundance of dust, manure, hair, and hay, so it can be a frequent problem that milkers and parlor managers should look out for.
If you find a clogged vent, it's best to have a replacement ready. But if you don't, remove the clogged vent and clean it with a brush and warm water. It's important not to use steel bristles that could damage the vent or wear it out since the vent has a precise size, and you should not enlarge it.
Any brush you can use to wash your car should be sufficient, like this deck brush. Its bristles are stiff enough to clean the vent properly, but if it doesn't scratch a car or boat, it won't damage the claw.
- STIFF TEXTURED BRISTLES GENTLY REMOVE DIRT: Our heavy duty firm commercial grade brush head is ideal for scrubbing scum, washing dirt, grease, grime and bird-droppings without being harsh or scratching painted surfaces or clear gel or ceramic coats.
- WORKS ON MANY SURFACES: Car wash brush & boat brush head safely cleans fiberglass, wood, grout, tile, metal, siding, glass auto & RV. Cleaning scrub brush is scratch free and ideal for truck & car cleaning, decks, carwash, hull cleaner & deck brush.
- 3/4” ACME THREAD FITS MANY UNIVERSAL POLE TIPS: Our boat deck brush head works with our long extension Extendable Rod, and other telescoping handles, a standard broom handle or rod that fits a 3/4” acme thread and floats as well.
- THICK RUBBER BUMPER PROTECTS SURFACE WHILE CLEANING: A thick wrap around rubber bumper protects boats and vehicles from damage and marks while cleaning. The large brush face is wide and deep so you can quickly clean large areas.
- WHY BETTER BOAT: We are a family owned American business committed to making premium quality RV care and boat cleaning supplies. We stand behind your satisfaction and our accesories, equipment & washing products including our attachment deck brush.
It's strange how easily the pulsating tubes get clogged, even if you clean them frequently. When they get blocked, not only will you have lower milk production and cause your cows some severe discomfort, but it could even damage the pumps too.
Some farmers rinse the tubes out with chemicals to unclog them. The problem is that these chemicals can leave traces inside the tubes and pipes that could contaminate your milk in the future. The chemicals could also damage the pipes, and as the clog loosens, it could damage the pump even more.
The best solution is a simple bottle brush, especially if it's thin, like the ones you can find in this brush kit.
Simply remove the pulsating tubes and place them under hot flowing water, then insert the brush as deep as possible. You can try to do this from both sides if necessary. Some bottle brushes have longer handles to go deeper if the tubes are long.
Don't use chemicals except for some dishwashing soap if you have to. The hot water and repeated pressure from the brush should release any clogs in the tubes.
You can use the same technique for just about any clogged pipe you might have on your dairy farm.
- MULTIPLE SIZE – With this set of 9 straws you will get a straw with a diameter of 6 mm, 9 mm and 12 mm, and nylon bristle length of 8 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches. Great for clean your straws on Tumbler, Sippy Cup, Baby Bottles, Tervis, CamelBak, Hydroflasks, Yeti, Starbucks Cup and others.
- EASY TO USE – Simply insert it into the pipe, rotate it, remove and wash it. With the long, soft but durable bristles, it can be used to clean each size of pipe you have and does not scratch the inside of straws. Moreover, it doesn’t leave a lot of fuzz behind in the pipe like Chenille pipe cleaners do which you need to take the trouble to get rid of it.
- DURABILITY & MULTIFUNCTIONAL – Use our durable straw brush that is very flexible but will not break easily which is much stronger than some inferior and fragile straw brushes. Meanwhile, this brush also can be used to clean Pipe, Narrow Tube, Hookah, Coffee Pot, Sink Drain, Hummingbird Feeder, Weed Smoking Bong and other hard to access corners.
- HOW IT’S MADE – These straw cleaning brushes are made of food grade stainless steel, while bringing you durability and versatility. The bristles are made of nylon which is both resistant, and easy to clean. Get around any surface or maneuver any depth.
- DISHWASHER SAFE – These pipe cleaners are easy to clean after use since they can easily throw it in the top rack of the dishwasher, and this won't affect the brushes' effectiveness and functionality.
Hydro Jet High-Pressure Washer Gun
This might seem like an odd one to add to a list of tools for maintaining dairy farm equipment and machinery. It's a helpful tool for cleaning, but what does it have to do with repairs?
Hydro Jets like this one are unbelievably helpful at cleaning out clogs in almost any pipes or hoses. The high pressure that the jet shoots out will quickly dislodge any but the toughest clogs from a pipe, so if you have a blockage in a hose that's too deep to reach with a bottle brush, you can insert the end of the Hydro Jet and seal it in with your hand, then let the water flow.
A Hydro Jet is a more cost-effective (and often safer) way to achieve this than a powerful compressor. You don't want to build up too much pressure that could damage the pipe, and since a Hydro Jet only sprays water, there are also no corrosive chemicals, so it's a safe option.
- 【Excellence in Technical Design】Hydro Jet High Pressure Washer is oxidized and made of strong aluminum alloy with EVA handles for light weight and comfort. You will experience exceptional power, durability and outstanding performance.
- 【Easy to use with 3 Nozzles】Our High Pressure Water Washer is engineered to optimize your experience, leakproof design , coming with 3 spray tips (one is jet stream, one is fan spray) and 1pc adjustable twist nozzle for more convenient usage.(ATTENTION: no need power or electricity, the PRESSURE depends on your water system pressure, NO EXTRA pressure)
- 【2 WAYS TO CONNECT HOSE】Equipped with a standard garden hose quick Connect&Release coupling, the high pressure wash wand fits well with 1/2" standard garden hose. For a direct connection, it will fit 3/4" standard garden hose, as well as other sizes of standard 1" hose connectors.
- 【Corrosion & Rust Resistant】It is sturdy and durable, anti-leaking, withstand pressure but ensures it won’t rust or corrode over time. Heavy-duty design, not easy to be bent and stay same even after more times usage.
- 【Widely Appcation】 Hydro jet power washer wand can be used for car washing, home cleaning, garden Watering, agricultural Irrigating, window washing, plant watering and other situation you want. This wand is perfect for cleaning wood fences, brick walls, sidewalks, car, bricks, rocks, car wheel, truck, campers, boats, windows.
Tools For Maintaining And Fixing Farming Equipment
Moving more towards general farm equipment, there are still plenty of tools you will find helpful and should have available at all times.
Chaff Cutters Or Hay Cutters
One of the must-haves on any farm, and especially dairy farms, is a chaff cutter. These devices efficiently cut the grass, hay, and straw into edible chunks for your cows to eat.
They come in many different forms, but you generally don't have to get the most heavy-duty machine to get the work done. An excellent example of a simple but effective (and quite powerful) chaff cutter is the TXMachine Hay Cutter.
There are various benefits to using a chaff cutter rather than manual cutting methods, including:
- Motor-driven chaff cutters save plenty of time.
- They save money in the long run since you don't have to commit staff to cut hay for hours.
- Chaff cutters can become more versatile with attachments that enable them to function as wood chippers, allowing you to handle multiple tasks with a single tool.
Tractors and chaff cutters occasionally need their blades sharpened, which could be very often if you use them daily. Not sharpening the blades could severely impact your farm's productivity, but you also don't want to spend a day filing away at the edges when you could have been more productive elsewhere on your farm.
The best solution is a dedicated blade sharpener, like the WEN BG4270T. You could use a 10" file or a grinder; if you know what you're doing, they will do the job perfectly. The sharpening process with a file will be very slow, though, so that's not the ideal solution.
However, the WEN sharpener (and many other sharpeners) have a few added benefits, like:
- You can use them to sharpen many different blades
- They work for wet or dry sharpening
- They have the perfect grit (220) to sharpen tractor or chaff cutter blades
- It's easy to set the perfect angle, while you can quickly get it wrong with a file or a grinder
- High-speed rotation means that the sharpening will go much faster than with some other methods, like filing
- You can do the sharpening and the finer detail using one machine
- They are usually portable, so you can also move them around the farm quite easily
A study in China found that sharpening the blades using anything other than the right tools could reduce their reliability considerably, so it's best to get equipment that's made for the job.
- Features a 10-inch 220 grit sharpening stone and an 8-inch leather-stropping wheel
- Reverse the rotational direction with the simple flip of a switch
- 115 RPM provides maximum precision during sharpening
- Universal jig support allows for compatibility with a wide variety of accessories, including the WEN 42704B Sharpening Kit
- Includes an onboard carrying handle, an angle guide, a honing compound, an adjustable water reservoir, and a jig for sharpening chisels and planer blades
There's a good chance you have at least two pieces of machinery on your farm that use spark plugs: the tractor and generator. If you don't use one for a few days and then need it, it's very frustrating when it doesn't run properly.
Many generators and tractors refuse to start because of faulty spark plugs. The problem appears so gradually that you often can't predict when you won't be able to start it at all, and even though sparkplug replacement is part of the regular service schedule, it's wise to have a few extra plugs on hand in case you need them.
Different models use different spark plugs. It's a good idea to check the type of spark plugs your generators and tractors use, then buy at least one complete set of each type. When you service the machine, you can keep the spark plugs that are still in fair condition so you can re-use them in an emergency.
Spare Oil For Your Tractor
You never know when your tractor's oil might begin to run low. Being in the middle of a field when the oil light comes on is a pain, even more so if you have to drive into town to get some. So it's wise to keep extra oil in your tool store or, better yet, in your tractor so you can top it up when necessary.
This also applies to any of the lubricants and various other liquids that your tractor (and other machinery) may need from time to time, such as coolants, brake fluid, and transmission fluid.
Generator Monitoring Kits
Your generator is a vital component for your dairy farm's survival. We never know when we might be left without power, often for extended periods, and then we have to know that there's backup power available. But what if something goes wrong with the generator when you need it?
Generators usually don't just die unexpectedly. It could happen, but there are generally warning signs long before it happens. We can easily miss these warning signs because many of us are not regularly checking our generators.
When you notice that the generator isn't delivering what it should when running at full force, it's time to troubleshoot so you can get it working flawlessly before you need it.
General Tools To Use On A Dairy Farm
There are various tools that don't fit into a particular farming category but are still vital to have on any dairy farm. They range from basic things to more advanced tools, but farmers should have them in their toolsheds.
A Welding Machine
Welding machines are handy in many situations. Accidents happen, and you may have to repair something quickly. A few common uses for welders on a farm include:
- Mounting the steel frames and tubes in place in your milk parlor
- Repairing irrigation pipes and other leaks
- Fixing sheet metal on various machines and farming implements
- Building or repairing fences
- Repairing engine manifolds
Those are just a few examples. Basically, if you have the right welding equipment, you can repair almost any metal-related problems on your farm.
For most farm-related uses, a MIG welder tends to be best as it has the best ratio between price and use cases. It's also the easiest welding method to learn. So, something like the Yeswelder MIG-250 Pro would be perfect. It's portable, so you can take it wherever you have to use it, but it's powerful enough to handle most farm jobs.
- [MULTI-FUNCTIONS] 4 in 1 Welder, MIG synergistic setting & MIG manual setting, Gasless Flux wire MIG Welds, stick welds, and Lift TIG welds. Dynamic control-set arc control to crisp or soft depending on your preference and application. (TIG torch and SPOOL GUN need to be purchased separately, WP-17V-35, LBT150)
- [SYNERGIC MIG] Provides communication between the power source, feeder, and gun. Easy work with hobbyists or professionals,
- [GASLESS FLUX MIG WELD] Release hard moving of gas cylinder, release the low efficiency of stick welds, and work with gasless flux wire perfectly.
- [VARIOUS WELDING WIRE] Suitable for all kinds of welding requirements .023”/.030”/.035” solid/SS wire, .023”/.030”/.035” flux core wire for MIG manual setting; only .035” available in MIG synergistic setting .035”/.045” aluminum wire.
A Powerful Cordless Drill
You never know when and where you might have to drill a hole, so having a cordless drill is a good idea. Since it is for use on a farm, it's also essential to ensure it's as strong as possible. A good option is the DeWald 20V Max XR. It's brushless and cordless and comes in a convenient carry bag with its charger and a spare battery, so it's perfect for carrying with you.
When you're doing remote work in the fields, like putting up fences, a good cordless drill will be worth its weight in gold.
- ACCESS HARD TO REACH WORK AREAS: Compact 7 in. size is 1/2-in shorter in length compared to the DCD796, tool head only
- HIGH BIT RETENTION with 1/2-in metal ratcheting chuck
- PRO-LEVEL SPEED, CONTROL, AND PRECISION: High-speed transmission with variable trigger and 2 speed settings (0-650/0-2,000 rpm)
- BRIGHTEN DARK WORK AREAS: Adjustable 3-Position, 3 Mode LED with up to 70 Lumens, including LED spotlight mode which features a 20-minute shutoff function for extended work time in low-light spaces
- DESIGNED TO HELP YOU GET MORE DONE with optimized performance and runtime
An Impact Wrench
It's not uncommon to need a wrench somewhere far from your toolshed. For example, a tractor might need a replacement tire in the middle of a field. You might have the correct wrenches with you, but nobody likes to have to exude that much force, and it seems few things can get as tight as a tractor's wheel nuts.
Enter the trusty cordless impact wrench. If you get one that's powerful enough, there's no need ever to force a nut again. Something like the DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless impact wrench kit delivers plenty of power while being portable enough to carry easily.
Just be sure to buy a good selection of wrench sockets for various uses along with it. The more different sizes you have, the better.
- COMPLETE A WIDE VARIETY OF FASTENING APPLICATIONS with 1030 ft-lbs of max fastening torque and 1400 ft-lbs of max breakaway torque.
- INCREASE USER CONTROL IN A VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS with 4-mode speed settings and variable speed trigge
- DESIGNED TO HELP PREVENT OVERTIGHTENING AND FASTENER RUN-OFF with Precision Wrench control.
- REDUCE WEAR AND TEAR ON THE BATTERY WHILE YOU WORK with BATTERYGUARD - a shock-absorbing battery-to-tool connection (battery sold separately).
- ILLUMINATE DARK WORKSPACES using the on-tool LED work light.
Electrical Testing Kit
Everything on a farm uses electricity these days, and even modern tractors come with more and more electronic circuitry to troubleshoot when something goes wrong. An excellent electrical test kit is priceless for all these electrical and electronic requirements.
Most people immediately think of a digital multimeter, and it is crucial to get one. However, many farmers find that they spend more time using a power probe than a multimeter, especially when troubleshooting electronics in hard-to-reach places on tractors.
It's a good idea to get an all-in-one electrical testing kit. Such kits include a multimeter, a power probe, and various connectors and wires to make your life easier.
- Supplies Power and Ground for Functional Component Testing
- CAT-IV 600V Hybrid Safe AC/DC Voltmeter
- Measures Resistance to 60M Ohms
- Measures Current from .001Amps to 10 Amps
Having an electrical testing kit is excellent since it helps you find the problem. But now that you know where the problem is, how do you fix it?
That's where wiring toolkits come in. There are two tools that you commonly need: wire strippers and crimpers. You can opt for kits that have crimpers and wire strippers, along with various connectors and jackets, to make life easy. Or you can buy a high-quality combination tool that's both a wire stripper and a crimper, then purchase the add-ons separately.
The next logical step in buying tools for electrical troubleshooting is a good roll of electrical tape (preferably a few rolls). You can never have too much electrical insulation tape since you can use it for various things, not just electrical wiring.
The tape has a firm glue surface that's exceptionally water-resistant, so it can temporarily fix many issues while you're out in the field; that should hold until you can get to the right tools.
- Flexible PVC and rubber-based adhesive tape for electrical application
- Ideal for wire repairs, marking or bundling cables, sealing, reinforcement, and more
- Rated at 600V maximum operating voltage with a continuous operating temperature of 80°C.
- CSA and UL-listed for safety and performance
- Self-extinguishing plasticized PVC is flame retardant
The "Engineer's Toolkit"
There's a running joke about the so-called "engineer's toolkit" that consists of two products. The joke says, "If it moves but shouldn't, use duct tape. If it should move but doesn't, use WD40."
It's a funny concept, but it's painfully true, and no farmer's toolbox should be without either of the two. It's incredible how many mechanical problems you can fix with a can of WD40 or a roll of duct tape, and you should even have some in a bag that you carry with you in your tractor.
Duct tape, in particular, can fix many things, but it's even valuable for basic first aid if you don't have proper medical supplies available. For example, it can bandage wounds, remove splinters, and be used to create a makeshift splint.
Remember that you should always use appropriate medical supplies if you can; having duct tape with you does not mean you shouldn't carry a first aid kit, too.
A roll of aluminum wire can always be helpful in cases where you have to bind items together, like temporarily fixing a tarp or fence. Having some with you is always good whenever you go to the fields. Things you can't tie together with duct tape will often work with some wire.
All The Basic Tools
Apart from these, you should not forget the basics. You can usually buy one big toolbox containing all of these, then add many other items we've explicitly mentioned.
In particular, look for a toolbox that contains all of these items:
- Various screwdrivers of different types and sizes
- Allen wrenches
- Monkeywrench / adjustable wrench
- Sockets and socket wrenches
- Retractable utility knife (also known as a "Stanley" knife)
- Standard wrenches
- Pliers and needle-nose pliers
- Measuring tape
- Screw holders
- A wide variety of screws, nuts, and bolts
- ▶ [High Quality Material] - Made of high-quality steel and finished in heat treated chrome, durable and corrosion resistance. Handles made of TPR material, comfortable for grip.
- ▶ [Assorted Tools Kit] - 200Pcs tools set comes with all the most useful and basic tools for daily use and home maintenance. It is perfect hand tool kit to have at home, garage, office, car trunk. This tool set is also a good gift choice for family member, friends, partners, etc.
- ▶ [Storage Toolbox Included] - This Tool kit comes with a sturdy blow-molded toolbox for organized storage and portability. Its sturdy interiors and organizers keep all tools in place.
- ▶ [Complete Varieties] - Assortment of essential tools are in one box: claw hammer, precision screwdrivers, long nose pliers, combination wrenches, 72-tooth ratchet, sockets, hex keys, tape measure, bit driver and bits etc.
- ▶ [Great Gift Choice] -This tool kit is easy to carry and stock. It is a good gift choice for men and women. Kindly Tip: When opening the toolbox, please place the side with ''Prostormer'' logo on the top to prevent the tools falling out from the box.
It's painful to be stuck with a problem, knowing exactly how to fix it, and not having the right tools for the job. These tools will help you maintain and repair specific dairy equipment and general farm machinery, but remember that even the most straightforward tools can be valuable. It's better to have tools you hardly use rather than not have them when you need them.