Thunderbird Mixer

I am having no luck finding a used Hobart 60qt mixer here in the Reno, NV, area. A local restaurant supply sells new Thunderbirds. I used a 20qt thunderbird that we overloaded to death with whole wheat, low hydration dog biscuit dough and it worked flawlessly for the 7 years I had it. There is a used 1.5hp thunderbird 40qt for sale that is on 115v. I would have to make more batches of dough but the price saving at this point would really be a heaven send and we would eventually get a 60qt and use the 40qt for dog biscuit and cookie dough. We use a high hydration dough and if it performs like the 20qt did we should get our money worth out of it. We are going to be low volume (50-60 pies a day with just my wife and I as paid employees starting out). Any advice on these mixer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Walter

We ship reconditioned Hobart 60 qt mixers nation wide
George Mills

Walter P.M. me for my comments.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Walter, Have you considered a spiral mixer at all? I was very leary of them until I actually used one. I cannot see myself ever using a planetary mixer for dough again. I think it would really shine for your low hydration dog treats.
I even mix my italian sausage in a spiral mixer, it does not generate the friction that a planetary mixer does, so it helps keep my sausage fat from smearing when mixing

GotRocks: Thanks for the suggestion. I never used one and don’t see any for sale around here. Plus I need the hub attachment for grating our cheese and slicing veggies. I have the pelican head and attachments. Walter

Please P.M. me or contact me at
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor

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I totally understand, I have 20-Qt off-name POJ planetary mixer that I attach my grinder head to just for grinding our pork sausage, I used to have a nice tabletop powerhead that we used, until one of my goobers decided to break the power switch on it. luckily enough the mixer accepted the grinder, so we just use that planetary mixer for that.
The mixer is so weak, I was popping the overload breaker mixing my dry-rubs in it with a dough hook, that job now gets relegated to the spiral unit too.

At my last location, I had 2 monstrous “exposed motor” Hobart mixers, the tech told me the build dates were pre-1940, 3-phase, nothing slowed those things down, I wish I could have brought one or both of them with me. I had bowl size reducer mounts for them, the bowl lift gearing was smooth as can be, they were damn impressive. No matter what I threw at them, they didn’t even whine.
Maybe you can get lucky and find one of those warhorse relics for a decent cost?

That big o’l Hobart was a Model 800. I worked with one for many years. You’re right, it is the Clydesdale of planetary mixers. That transmission and clutch on top of the mixer were actually automotive parts (did you recognize the 4-speed “H” shift pattern)? There was good news and bad news about the mixer though, the good news: nothing would stop it. The bad news, nothing would stop it. If the dough was too stiff the mixing attachment would just drive right on through it until the hook broke. They were notorious in later years for breaking dough hooks. Because of the abuse these mixers were commonly subjected to, in time they developed a reputation for leaky main shaft seals and occasionally a failed bearing. Maybe it was just too much of a good thing, but like you, I sure loved mine, maybe except for the hand crank wheel that had to be manually spun to raise and lower the bowl.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom/GotRocks: Thanks for that mixer info. I am going to see what George charges for a used Hobart 60qt. His son handles the mixers and is out of town till next week. Hopefully we can get one of his and mix happily ever after :slight_smile: Walter

There is a used equipment dealer near me with piles of dough hooks and paddles for those monsters, So if anyone needs parts for those behemoths, contact me and i’ll forward the info. He also has several of those units in different states of repair and assembly. The older Hobart guys swear they started building them to be less dependable just to be able to get service calls after the sale.

Yeah, the power of those mixers were outright frightening, there was no clutches to slip, I decided that I was the only person to operate them after trying to explain the gear pattern and the transmission engage lever and seeing the deer in the headlights look from my guys
one of my bowl lift wheels was as smooth as butter, to lower the bowl, I just gave it a little nudge and it freewheeled all the way down, the other one was a little tight and took some muscle to move it either direction.
One was painted black, the other was a funky seafoam green. Looking for pictures right now. I did try to move one a foot or two once, and I gave up because it had made an impression in the vinyl floor covering and was there for life. If that building burnt down, I bet those mixers would survive!