Author Topic: Mixing Improvising  (Read 856 times)

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Offline waltertore

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Mixing Improvising
« on: February 13, 2016, 02:10:10 AM »
Our 80 quart thunderbird  mixer has not worked right since we bought it new in Dec and opened in January.  I have had to work around a bowl that was stuck in the up position, a dough hook that took a sledge hammer to get on and off once it was fixed - but the bowl lift only worked a few days/fried the motor 2 times, had to cut out pieces of dough because the bowl was stuck in the up position(power lift no hand crank) and you couldn't pull/lift the dough out in one piece, and finally had the bowl working right and mixed a cookie batch and  it got stuck again in the up position with the beater blade on it.  I had to mix 2 batches of dough with the beater blade and cut out 160 odd pounds of dough from around and in it.  Long story short our dough has performed great in all these crazy configurations of mixing.  Today we got a new mixer sent to us and installed and tomorrow I mix a 50 pound bag of flour dough batch and hope it goes ok.  The moral of the story is dough is much more forgiving than many think and the old mixer is crated and sitting on our outdoor patio waiting pick up.  If you want to steal it go ahead but be warned it weighs 1,000 pounds :-D  Quality of new stuff today is scary bad........... Walter
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 02:37:22 AM by waltertore »
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 09:12:56 AM »
I'm surprised you didn't get a Hobart. Even a used one is better than most new mixers.
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Offline rparker

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 10:38:51 AM »
Walter, I'm sure you did your homework. You always seem to be up on the equipment regardless of era. It goes without saying that you likely saw good reviews for this. I hope it's just a one-off dud, and that the next one is fine.

There are some folks out there who could learn from your work ethic, too. You didn't throw up your hands just because things got difficult.  8)

- Roy

Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 11:26:06 AM »
I'm surprised you didn't get a Hobart. Even a used one is better than most new mixers.

I looked far and wide for a used Hobart but none were to be found with a reputable seller.  A new one is almost double the price of a thunderbird. Moving a thousand pound mixer costs a lot of $ in crating, shipping, and unloading.  I have used a thunderbird for 8 years, overloaded it to death, and it out performed our Hobart of the same size.  I also checked in with Tom Lehman and he agreed the thunderbird is a great mixer and well worth buying over a Hobart when one has no idea of what condition a used hobart is in.  Most online hobarts are repainted and called reconditioned.  George Mills, a longtime used Hobart dealer, didn't have any for sale and he is about the only guy I would trust buying blind from.   Once you get one of these beasts inside it is a nightmare to move them out.  There is no go to companies that move them.  Most restaurants use their staff to move them.  We had to call dozens of places to find someone to move our original in and it cost $600 with the electrician to  hook it up.  You can buy heavy restaurant equipment all day long and it will be dropped at your door but there is basically no one easily found that will lug it inside and place it where you want.   Luckily Thunderbird has been very responsive with sending out new parts - phase module (powers the control panel of the mixer), bowl lift motor, and also has been good about sending a tech to install this stuff. They also paid to have the old mixer removed, crated, the new one unloaded, installed.  I shredded about 50 pounds of cheese yesterday with it no problem and hopefully it works when I mix a full dough batch this afternoon.  Walter
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 11:35:40 AM by waltertore »
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Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2016, 11:43:59 AM »
Walter, I'm sure you did your homework. You always seem to be up on the equipment regardless of era. It goes without saying that you likely saw good reviews for this. I hope it's just a one-off dud, and that the next one is fine.

There are some folks out there who could learn from your work ethic, too. You didn't throw up your hands just because things got difficult.  8)

- Roy

Thanks Roy. This has been the only real hassle we have encountered so far.  Unfortunately it is the base of the operation :-D    I couldn't give up.  The cause drives me and that gives me a seemingly endless supply of energy and support from others.  The good news is the mixer mixes wonderful when it worked right.  My dough never came out as good as it does with this mixer and with its 5hp engine it never strains and the big bowel size means it never throws flour out.  It also has 3 speeds with a high and low for each one.  Speed 1 on low mixes dough like an angel.  The last 2 batches that used the dough hook mixed the dough together good but then most of it just stuck to the beater and went in circles with no kneading so I cut the dough out in pieces that could get out of the mixer and hand kneaded until it looked right.  I will be a happy guy today to mix with a hook that comes off, a bowl that goes up and down, and a bowl dolly that will cart the dough to the cutting table  :)   The good news is this stuff is a mechanical and fixable.  I couldn't imagine someone opening a pizzeria with no pizza experience and having this issue.  Worst case scenario I can hand knead dough till things get fixed.  Walter
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2016, 11:53:42 AM »
I agree with you on the weight of these mixers. I always dreaded when the owner would went to move things around in the prep area... that meant moving 1000lbs of mixer from one end to another. I remember moving it twice in a week because during operations it turned out it was in the way when shredding cheese! I guess I am just biased towards the old Hobart because that is the only mixer that I have used and for 20 years around the shop (17 working) I had experienced it working with not one breakdown. However, I also agree that one must watch for the condition when buying a used one since there is no telling what it's been through. I guess that's true of most used items. Either way, I'm glad to hear that you got your mixer running again and hope that it provides years of solid performance for you!

Anthony
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Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2016, 01:17:03 PM »
I agree with you on the weight of these mixers. I always dreaded when the owner would went to move things around in the prep area... that meant moving 1000lbs of mixer from one end to another. I remember moving it twice in a week because during operations it turned out it was in the way when shredding cheese! I guess I am just biased towards the old Hobart because that is the only mixer that I have used and for 20 years around the shop (17 working) I had experienced it working with not one breakdown. However, I also agree that one must watch for the condition when buying a used one since there is no telling what it's been through. I guess that's true of most used items. Either way, I'm glad to hear that you got your mixer running again and hope that it provides years of solid performance for you!

Anthony

Anthony:  I agree on the hobarts being the reliable workhorse.   The problem I ran into was no one had a 2hp motor(ours has a 5hp) local to check out.  The online ones are a complete crap shoot.  I know a lot of online places show a real nice looking one and even post videos of it running and then you get a different mixer on delivery.  Also most pre owned mixers are in shops with the people running them not owning them so they trash them day in and out.  They are never serviced and the cost to repair/rebuild a used one gets expensive in $ and time.  Going to a used restaurant supply store is a shock in trash.  The good news is I only mix dough and cookies and that amounts to less than an hour a week of run time.  We are going to pre shredded cheese because I can't order enough block to get our supplier to keep it for us so the pelican head will only be  used to slice onions.  We hand slice all the other veggies.  With that little bit of use the mixer should last a long time we hope!  Walter   
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 01:19:14 PM by waltertore »
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Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 12:07:49 PM »
 Our mixer fiasco with Thunderbird is coming to an end.  After much research I have decided to nix a new hobart mixer because of many reports of problems with them that various mixer industry people shared with me.   I found an older hobart 60 quart 2hp mixer that came out of a public school kitchen. It doesn't have a dough hook and was only used for mashed potatoes and gravy making.  With schools no longer making food onsite they are being sold off and this one comes from a reputable guy that restores/services/sells parts for hobart mixers.  It comes with a 4 month guarantee as well.   I know from working in public schools for 25 years they  maintains equipment to the umpteenth degree because it is on taxpayers money unlike most restaurants that run them to death and never service them.  We will save about 3k too after the refund from Thunderbird.  It should be here next week and for the first time in 2 months I will be able to normally mix our dough-what a concept :-D  Walter
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Offline PizzaJerk

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 12:19:44 PM »
Beautiful shape! I guess it shows that just a bit of searching and a little luck also will net something good... well deserved  :)
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Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 12:24:51 PM »
Beautiful shape! I guess it shows that just a bit of searching and a little luck also will net something good... well deserved  :)

Thanks!  The 16k for a new mixer was huge and as things have gone throughout this endeavor the right things appear at the right time.  We just need to keep the faith and let it unfold.  I had a large dealer of hobart equipment tell me about all the problems the legacy mixers are  having. Like the thunderbird they are too deep with electronic gizmos.  The guy we are getting the mixer from has had a couple customers around the country get rid of the new ones and buy the older used ones.  It amazes me  how bad things are being made today.  I can't wait to get the mixer as I have worked with this model on and off for 40 odd years.  Walter
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Offline rparker

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2016, 10:07:32 PM »
That's great news, Walter! Congrats!

Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 01:06:48 AM »
That's great news, Walter! Congrats!


Thanks!  Hopefully it will be in by Thursday so I can mix some dough when I get back from the Pizza Expo :)  Walter
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Offline waynesize

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 08:45:08 PM »
Walter, the Hobart looks friendlier than the Thunderbird.  :). I hope it serves you well. I agree with your thoughts on new products. So many things are built cheaply these days, even if the price does not reflect it.  Quality, craftsmanship, and value are getting harder to find with each passing year.  I am happy that your customers will get all of those, and more.

Wayne

Offline waltertore

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Re: Mixing Improvising
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 09:15:45 PM »
Walter, the Hobart looks friendlier than the Thunderbird.  :). I hope it serves you well. I agree with your thoughts on new products. So many things are built cheaply these days, even if the price does not reflect it.  Quality, craftsmanship, and value are getting harder to find with each passing year.  I am happy that your customers will get all of those, and more.

Wayne

Wayne:  The hobart is the tried and true design that was used for decades basically.  Thunderbird quality has gone to the toilet and I advise all to avoid anything made by them.  Thanks, and we will stay true to my roots of old fashion quality and service.  Walter
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