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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Engines run on combustion. Combustion creates heat. Although heat is good for oil to work properly, some engines will get too hot and that causes problems.

The energy we want to use in an engine is combustion and the pressure that is caused by that combustion. Heat is just a byproduct. We hope that a big percentage of the heat goes out as exhaust. However, there is still conduction going on inside the cylinder and heat is absorbed in the parts and casing of the engine.

The heat then needs to be dissipated into the oil or the coolant. In turn, the oil cools through convection, while the coolant dissipates the heat into the air as the coolant runs through the little tubes in the radiator. As the air flows through the radiator, it pulls the heat out.

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Slips, trips and falls
These are the most common source of injuries in the workplace and make up the greatest number of workers’ compensation claims. Serious injuries include sprains and strains. Water or milk spills, algal build-up on concrete surfaces, oil spills in machine shop buildings, wet feed, and manure can all make a surface slippery.

Tripping can be caused by different floor levels, broken concrete, and obstacles – including uneven walking surfaces, protruding pipes and hoses, uncovered drainage holes, and badly designed steps.

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Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, has been selling the Apollo Solar Light Pipe commercially for more than four years to be used in warehouses, factories, supermarkets, etc. This summer it introduced this technology to agriculture with its first installation on a dairy.

The concept started in agriculture when as a small child Orion’s CEO Neal Verfuerth saw how much light could enter through a knothole in vertical barn board. He used this idea to develop an award-winning technology.

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Last issue I tested your knowledge to see if you could identify the parts of an engine that were circled. Now I would like to point out what some of the lesser-known or often-neglected parts do and how they are important.

1. Turbo oil feed line: This line takes cooled, filtered and clean oil to the turbo charger. The turbo charger is flooded with oil so the quickly-revolving parts can work properly.

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Moisture can be a real problem in freestalls bedded with manure solids. It aids the growth of bacteria, which can lead to herd health issues. Raking freestalls bedded with manure solids is a common practice to combat the moisture, but many times it just scratches the surface.

Looking for a better way, dairyman Mark Barroso of Merced, California, designed and built the Freestall Rototiller. Unlike other rototillers, this one runs off the PTO of a small- to mid-sized tractor that can provide 60 to 100 horsepower.

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