Mother nature’s best and complete food, milk, is highly perishable. A little negligence in maintaining the temperature or hygiene can result in degraded milk and milk products. Therefore, careful storage and effective milk transport services need to be in place for supplying good quality dairy products to its consumers.
Milk is generally produced in rural areas while the major market lies in the urban area. Keeping in mind the putrescible nature of milk, it is imperative to transport it to the end consumer in controlled and favourable conditions to prevent its degradation.
Milk haulers are the true heroes of this story. They are not just drivers but have many other responsibilities. He or she is a certified milk grader, a person who collects milk sample from bulk milk to check its quality. He or she is basically the person responsible to bring only good quality milk from producers to the factory.
Before loading the milk from a collection point into the bulk tanker or the milk cans, milk haulers take a sample of the milk and test for its quality and shelf life. Only when the milk is of good quality, it is taken to the processor.
Process of Milk Hauling
To maintain the high quality of milk and other dairy products, it is essential to streamline the collection and transportation systems. Else, there is a risk of surplus milk getting wasted or perished.
In developing countries or in small rural areas with small-scale milk production, the collection system is simple. Producers cool down the milk at around 4 degree Celsius and transport the milk themselves to collection points. These points have shades to collect milk so that the temperature of the milk doesn’t rise much. This is done to prevent milk contamination.
In developed countries with large-scale commercial milk production, there are collection centres where milk is produced and stored in central milk cooling systems. The producers focus only on production and milk hauling companies have relied upon for transportation.
The milk transport services transport milk to the processing factories in two ways-
- Bulk Tankers – Milk is collected from various producers and kept in a single big milk tanker. The tanker being insulated keeps the desired temperature of milk for long and bring it to the nearest processing destination.
- In-can Transportation – Some milk hauling companies prefer to transport milk in cans. Though the cans are not insulated or stored in a cool temperature during transit, still this method has an advantage of its own. Milk batches from different producers are kept separately. Hence, a good quality batch cannot be degraded by mixing it with bad quality milk batch.
The milk hauling companies appoint trained milk graders. Once these gallons of tested raw milk reaches the processing site, a hose is secured to the tank and emptied in the processing plant. Here, milk is processed to make other dairy products and these are packaged. The packages then are ready to be transported to the consumers.
Evolution of Milk Hauling Companies
When the dairy industry was not much developed, the farmers used to transport their milk to the processing facilities. However, with increasing population, demand for milk and dairy products also shot-up. To meet these ever-growing demands, it was important for the milk producers and dairy farmers to concentrate solely on production and someone else to cater to milk transportation services.
That was when in the early 1900s, milk production in the United States became a more specialized job. This gave rise to milk hauling companies. Gradually, these milk transport services relieved dairy farmers from the task of transporting their milk.
Earlier, the dairy farmers used to transport their milk, along with their neighbour’s milk, to the processing facilities. The vehicle used was mostly a common one for transporting other farm products such as grains, vegetables and fruits, ice, freight and sometimes even furniture. These vehicles were mostly horse-driven wagons or flatbed trucks.
Clearly, the earlier practices were neither hygienic nor ensured a long shelf life of milk. Hence, the milk could not be processed fairly enough for consumption.
It was with the advent of bulk tanks later that made dairy industry more sanitised. With time, more diversification grew that made milk hauling services a different industry altogether.
Milk and milk products are a daily necessity for almost everyone in the world. Without good quality and hygienic milk, no home would be able to function the way it usually does. Without the presence of proper milk hauling services, it would have been impossible for milk to reach every household on time.
Had it not been for the milk hauling companies, the dairy farmers would not get good money for the good quality milk that they provide. The dairy processing plants would not be able to manufacture dairy products and make profits by selling the same to the consumers. Thanks to the milk hauling service providers, the dairy industry is flourishing the way it is.