View Full Version : looking into bulk milk tank refridgeration? advise needed :)

09-01-2013, 09:56 PM
Hi i an new too all this so i will explain my current situation.

im 22 years of age (UK) and im a self employed electrican, i have my 17th edition and fully qualified, (but im not part p resistered) as all of my work is on milking parlours which is all bellow 50v so doesnt need signing off :p

around our area there are tones of electricains jumping onto the bandwagon being feed the pipe dream that sparkys earn loads of money, years ago it may have been the case but now there are hundrereds of different people starting up (including me)

It got me thinking about going into refrigeration on these bulk milk tanks as we serve over 150 farms across midlands and wales and each one has a tank lol!

i have no idea what would be needed for me to be able to sign these off and work on them to be complent to regs ect??

im based in hereford so notsure about training places either

any help would be grand :)

kind regaurds dan

09-01-2013, 10:52 PM
Hi I did my Refrigeration BTEC at Hereford college one evening a week,might be worth having a try there.

monkey spanners
09-01-2013, 10:56 PM
I don't know of any bmt specific trainers, some of the tank manufacturers run training days but you will need to be a agent or work for one to go on a course.

There are pleanty of trainers doing the F Gas courses which is the minimum, but if you have no fridge experience this will leave you struggling without further training.

You will also need to understand the washing and cleaning systems, most of the problems with DX tanks are not refrigeration related.

You will need to keep a lot of spares in stock as you will need to be able to fix almost any problem on site as the milk will spoil quickly due to cooling or washing problems.

For install work you will need slings, trolleys and lifting gear to move the tanks in and out of the dairy etc.

There are easier ways to make a living in the industry!

I see a lot of solar stuff being installed on farms, maybe this would be an easier route to continued employment?

09-01-2013, 11:44 PM
Stick to your knitting - unless you fancy a very steep learning curve with the potential for disaster that could ruin your existing business.

Not trying to be unhelpful, but put it this way - how would you feel as a sparky, if fridgies started doing electrical (and not doing as good a job as you know you could), and giving sparkies a bad name.

Not that I'm commenting on what level of skill you may have, but starting from knowing very little and taking on a responsibility that affects someone else's livelihood is a big, risky step.

If you really want to learn, the only way to be fully competent, and conversant with everything you need to know, is to do your time, as you have done your time in the electrical trade.

Personally, I had been in the trade for 7 years before I followed my own road at age 33.
To be honest, looking back on my time in this trade, I could truthfully say that I didn't know enough until about a year before I went out on my own - and not because I'm a bit F.I.K. - because that is how long it took to have enough experience of different situations to know how to deal with it. Even today, I'm still learning.
A sparky I do a lot of work with shares that opinion - it takes at least as long again as your apprenticeship to be competent. Eg . 3 years apprenticeship, (at least) another 3 years before fully competent.

So, another question to be asked, if you are only 22, is do you have enough experience to be running a business in your own trade, let alone starting another trade?

You might be better to employ a fridgie that wants to train as a sparky - then you both learn from each other.

10-01-2013, 03:47 AM
If anything like dairy farmers here, you will need to hit the ground running and be totally up to speed with everything, including all the tricks by farmers to blame refrigeration for their own stupidity. If you are not up to speed , forget about it, otherwise you will loose your shirt and go broke.

10-01-2013, 05:53 PM
thanks for the reply,

i understand where your comming from experiance counts alot more than pieces of paper in my books. im alreaddy involved with the washing sytems on tanks and normally find that stright forward enough as its just a case of fault finding and swaping a broken part.. this other chap we had trained up todo refrigi but when it came to doing the work he didnt want to touch anything

he didnt have enough confindence to follow it through.. im guessing that the courses run are just genral courses that cover all side of the gases and stuff so would be going into it abit blind so to say..

many thanks

10-01-2013, 10:42 PM
Think your in dream world if you think your do a f-gas course and be able to fix these things.

Ive been installing/repairing these things.

best advice i can give is do the course, but you really need to find someone you can work with to learn off.

There are a few companys that have the monopoly on this industry, because its shrinking and setting something like that up properly requires alot of stock/knoledge, the moment you let a farmer down who cant cool his milk because you havent got the part, they wont use you again!!
oh and i hope you have lots of spare time.

Dont go into it blind.

11-01-2013, 08:30 PM
One other avenue is to try to work for the manufacturers, Dairymaster here do a full parlour change in a day or so, ask to work on the fridge side with their guys and you'll see what is involved and the pressure attached to the work, you've generally a couple of hours to fault find, repair and return to service, maybe Install Monkey would take you as an "apprentice"?:)