Road test your parlour before you purchase it
There are many types of milking parlours on the market and a farmer's choice of system may come down to personal preference. Therefore, it is essential that farmers visit farms that have installed different milking machine designs.
Ideally, they should personally try out various systems by actually milking in each, rather than observing the parlour.
There are a range of widths and other critical dimensions for the herringbone, the 2ft 6in and the side-by-side parlours and these are shown below. These are guidelines only, so consult machine manufacturers to get the exact dimensions for their particular machines.
3-foot centre herringbone
Many existing parlours are of this design. The cow is 'side-on' to the milker and clusters are generally applied in front of the cow's legs.
There are drawbacks associated with this design:
nCows take up a lot of space in the parlour
nCows can kick off clusters