Useful Guidelines for Evaluating Milking Parlor Time-And-Motion Data

Larry Jones, Ph.D.
F.A.R.M.E. Institute
P.O. Box 88
Homer, NY 13077
607-749-2568 (phone)
607-749-5634 (FAX)

Dennis Armstrong
University of Arizona
212 Shantz
Tucson, AZ 85721

We have compiled our best estimates of time to complete tasks in both herringbone and parallel parlors. These times include walking time between cows and assume a well-maintained parlor. All times are rounded up to the closest seconds per cow. Times that are plus or minus 2 seconds to these would be considered normal.

Activity Parallel Herringbone Notes:
Enter 4 5  
Pre Spray 4 5  
Pre Dip 5 6  
Wipe 6 7  
Prime 5 5  
Forestrip 8 8  
Attach 10 10  
Attach 12   with units down
Attach   8 with unit arms

Example: The time required in a parallel parlor to enter cows, spray with predip, wipe teats dry and attach units is (4+4+6+10) 24 seconds. If wipe and attach are performed as a single activity then 1-second of walking time can be subtracted. In the example above, the 24 seconds per cow assumes 3 passes by the cow (spray, wipe, and attach). However, if only 2 passes are made (spray and wipe/attach) then the total time per cow would be 23 seconds.

Activity Parallel Herringbone Notes
Reattach 1.5 1.5  
Post Spray 3 4  
Post Dip 4 5  
Exit 2 2 With rapid exit
Misc + Idle     15% of WRT

With rapid exit, exit time is a function of parlor size. Smaller parlors (8-12) will see exit times of 5 seconds per cow while larger parlors (> double 25) can see exit times of .5 seconds per cow. This is the basic time to raise the gate and lower it, regardless of number of cows exiting.