DALTON, Ohio — Changing inflations on the milking units probably ranks near the bottom of a dairy farmer’s list of favorite activities — right below chasing heifers at midnight or in the pouring rain and right above fixing a broken manure spreader on the coldest day of the year.
“Changing inflations is a job that no farmer likes to do,” said Brian Showalter. “It is hard work and it hurts our hands, so it gets put off.”
Showalter, who is involved in his family’s 300-cow dairy operation near Dalton, got his start inventing and modifying tools and machinery at an early age and enjoys finding ways to do a job faster and easier.
In 2007, he came up with a new all-in-one tool to make the job of changing inflations easier for dairy farmers.
Named the Pryin Brian by a family member, the tool will pry the inflations off the milker claw, pry the pulsation hoses off the inflation shell, pry the main milker hose off the milker, pry the pulsation hoses off the milker claw, install new inflations in the shell, and can be used on any type of hoses around the farm that are similar in diameter to milker hoses.
The tool has two handles and three sets of bits, an adjustable shell holder and an inflation punching attachment.
The advantage to the tool, according to Showalter is the fact that the bits can be changed with a simple wing nut, easy to use and easy on the hands.
“This cuts milker disassembly in half, it is safer to use than using a knife and it is easier on the hands,” Showalter said. “Since it is easier to do, farmers will change their inflations more often.”
Another benefit, according to Showalter, is the fact that it saves farmers money when they change their own inflations, as some milking equipment dealers will charge a fee for changing inflations.
Showalter said that the Pryin Brian is available through PBS and comes with the purchase of a set of inflations.