Choosing a mushroom picking lorry is surely not one of the easiest tasks to do, that’s why in the following article we will try to introduce our readers to this topic and clarify some doubts. We have been helping with choosing the right equipment for mushroom farms for years and we care about the customer's satisfaction.
In order to correctly choose picking lorries to meet the needs and expectations of a mushroom farm, several aspects should be taken into account, such as:
- employee safety
- comfort and productivity
- price and service costs
- durability of the material/structure
- adjustment of the lorry to the height of the growing shelving and the width of the aisle between them
- type of flooring
So how do you properly choose a picking lorry for your mushroom farm?
The first and most obvious aspect is to select a lorry for the height of the growing shelving located in the growing room while taking into account the width of the aisle between the shelvings, so that lorries on nearby racks can pass each other freely. If the lorry does not meet the appropriate range of functionality, ergonomic mushroom picking and access to the top shelf, as well as the bottom shelf, can be difficult. That is why it is best to adjust the lorry to the individual needs of the mushroom farm. Buying the first better equipment without considering the parameters of growing rooms will not be a good solution.
A picking lorry that has been tested on several facilities, that is tailored to work ergonomics and is easy to use, is sure to be a hit. If you don’t want to experience a constant change of employees and if you are determined to keep them, you should ensure the comfort of your pickers and provide convenient conditions. A lorry that is too coarse or complicated to use will tire out the worker and discourage them more quickly from their daily duties. A poorly designed lory definitely reduces work efficiency.
When selecting a lorry, the price of the equipment must also be taken into consideration. If a cheap one turns out to be unreliable, you have to expect numerous repairs or the purchase of a new unit – according to the rule “buy cheap, buy twice”. It doesn’t necessarily mean that buying good lorries at an attractive price is impossible, but you have to take into account that not every product will meet customer expectations. Saving on equipment will result in harvesting downtime, which will affect your company’s financial performance.
Benefits of modern solutions
Electric and hydraulic picking lorries have both horizontal and vertical drive, which means that the employee standing on it does not have to move the heavy device by himself between shelvings or along them. This is certainly a major convenience.
Hydraulic or electric lorries with an additional sliding mechanism allow them to move along the shelving at an appropriate and uniform speed, which allows for selective picking mushrooms and that increases productivity.
Differences between electric and manual lorries
As we have already mentioned, a significant difference between an electric and manual picking lorries is the remote-controlled horizontal and vertical drive found in the more technologically advanced units. The old solution is the manual ones based on a cable, controlled by a crank, that is driven by human strength. The electric lorry is much more convenient for pickers to use. Workers do not get tired by pulling or lowering it. The so-called “electric” have replaceable batteries and you have to remember to charge them in order to use them. Modern designs provide several days of operation on a single charged battery, and the battery charge indicator allows to schedule battery replacement at the right time. In our wide offer, among other things, you can find a charging station for electric forklifts, capable of charging up to 16 batteries at the same time. Correctly designed electric lorry should allow a very quick disassembling of electrical and key mechanical parts for the period of steaming the growing room.
The electric lorry on gear racks is much safer, because in the case of a manual one there is a risk of breaking the cable, while the electric one on the gear racks simply does not have it. The mechanism itself makes it impossible for the lorry to fall in case of failure. When buying a manual (or electric on a cable) from another manufacturer, check whether it has a safety feature, such as a brake, which will prevent the platform from suddenly dropping.
Despite this inconvenience, however, the manual lorry is simpler in its design and has fewer mechanisms that can fail. With an electric one, certain parts such as the motor, battery, transmission simply wear out, while a properly designed electric should serve customers for many years.
With a manual one, it is important to remember that the winch needs to be maintained, while in an electric one you simply take care of it. A good quality forklift certainly requires less maintenance attention.
Advantages of hydraulic picking trolleys
We call modern mushroom farms those that are equipped with advanced equipment and modern machinery to optimize harvesting. Over the past decade, it can be noticed that mushroom growers are increasingly choosing modern technological solutions to gain productivity and reduce picking time. Therefore, our hydraulic picking trolley fit perfectly into this global trend. It is a self-propelled design, simple and convenient to use. These trolleys are equipped with a larger and long-lasting battery, have safety sensors – they autonomously stop when they see an obstacle, can be moved freely between growing rooms, and best of all, they do not need to be hung on a shelving. This last advantage is particularly important in countries where, according to the standards and safety rules there, there are restrictions on the ability to hang the lorries on the rack.
A disadvantage due to the large size of the structure, is that unfortunately it will not fit into small and narrow rooms. In addition, before purchasing, it is necessary to pay attention to several elements such as flat floors without large slopes and thresholds, sufficiently high doorways and, depending on local fire regulations, a dedicated room for picking lorries may be required.
Having electric and hydraulic lorries is becoming a more important factor in recruiting and retaining employees. The human aspect is a major challenge for all mushroom growers today regardless of the region in the world.
If you are looking for advice on equipment or machinery for your mushroom farm, we warmly invite you to contact us. Our specialists will answer any questions you may have and make sure you choose the best equipment to suit your needs.