No matter what kind of work you do or business you run, there will be “tools of the trade” you can use to make the work easy and efficient. In fact, some lines of work can only be done properly if you use the requisite tools of the trade.
In the agriculture industry, the primary tool for a small farming business is going to be laborers. It’s not often that as small operation will be able to afford the machinery that’s available to make both the harvesting and transport function easier. For a larger operation, agricultural machinery is a necessity.
About Agricultural Machinery
For most agricultural crops, there are four steps needed to get products from the farm to the end users. The four steps include planting, fertilizing/maintaining, harvesting and transporting. Larger farms have machinery to cover all these functions as follows:
- Automated field cultivators, seeders and planters for planting of seeds
- After planting, tractors and spreaders are available to spread pesticides and fertilizer while hand tools can be used to eliminate harmful weeds
- At harvest time, common machines to be used include shredders, cutters, harvesters and balers
- For transportation of goods, farmers will use machinery like loaders and hopper bottom trailers
While all of these machines are an essential part of making sure a farming operation remains profitable, it’s the transportation function that offers the biggest challenge. If needed, the other function could be handled manually by a large labor force. That’s not the case with the transportation function. For that reason, the following information is going to focus on the delivery of agricultural goods from the farm to market or food manufacturers.
How to Deliver Agricultural Products
As a farmer, your crops could include anything from fruits and vegetables to grains. When making the decision on how you intend to get your crops to its final destinations, you have to think about the logistics of doing so. The following information is directed at helping you make the right transportation decision for your crops. If your operation is big enough, you should have the option to either rent or purchase the right equipment.
Transporting Fruits and Vegetables
To prevent damage and spoilage, fruits and vegetables are usually gathered and stored in boxes or crates. If you want to transport large amounts of fruits and vegetables, you would want to use some type of a cargo trailer. This would be the best option because fruits and vegetables need some protection from the elements. By the way, agricultural products like sugar cane, hay and cotton could also be included in this category.
Another consideration is the way these types of products need to be loaded and unloaded. The logistics of this issue would also play into your decision. If you have your crops in boxes/crates on pallets, it would be quite easy to use a loader to move crops on and off the cargo truck.
In the grains category, you would include primarily corn kernels, seeds and wheat products. Typically, grains will be stored in silos at both the farm and end destination. In order to facilitate an easy loading and unloading process, a good hopper bottom trailer is the perfect transportation option.
A hopper bottom trailer is usually hooked to a semi-truck for transporting. It has a tarp at the top to give protection and make it easy to move grains within the trailers. To get grains on and off the trailer, there are usually two hoppers working at the bottom of the trailer. One hopper is used to cover the front while the other hopper covers the back. The hoppers are either controller by hydraulics or a hand crank. One of the great advantages that comes with a hopper bottom trailer is the way it integrates with a wide variety of other farm equipment such as loaders.
If you are tired of battling the logistics of moving your crops to market, you can save time and money by choosing the right mode of transportation. Whether you rent or want to buy, farm equipment like hopper bottom trailers can help you improve the profitability of your agricultural business.