Machineshift.com and its involvement in other operations, Christmas Tree Harvesting

As night follows day there is one sure thing in the year and that is Christmas, and with the run up to Christmas there is a Christmas Tree Harvest. This is an industry that we have been involved with for many years now. One through to form thing about the Christmas tree harvesting season is its hard and fast. A season usually is over within a 6 week period, indeed a short amount of time for this the mammoth labour intensive operation. A harvest requires a special kind of individual as with this work it means being exposed to the elements, of what November can through at you and usually that involves rain, rain, rain a little more rain and quiet possibly snow frost etc, and its rained here for a solid 30 days meaning conditions are wet, mucky and very very tough.

The harvest season might kick off about September where a plantation is walked tress being selected for harvest. Cutting of the trees starts usually about the first or second week of November where a team of people will descend on the plantation cut each tree individually, net the tree and really depending on the structure of the work force or your facilities that are attached to the plantation the tree will be put on a pallet.

This years harvest went along the lines of tree cut, netted, gathered up into tractor and trailer brought to yard separated put on a pallet then loaded onto a truck. Sounds straight forward but when you think about it and start to break down each of those steps in the operation you have one person to cut the tree, couple of people to net said tree, more people to load the product, more to separate and load the trees onto a pallet. This really means you need a well oiled working unit as there is a time constraint involved and the flow of product from field to pallet must be very fluid meaning a large workforce.

The harvest this year was attacked in 2 different ways as it was facilities dependent in the field. Getting the product from field  to pallet got modified as conditions varied, a 13t excavator with a grab used to load a tractor and grain trailer with the netted trees in the field brought to a clean concrete yard then put onto pallets, this process cut down the work in the field here but left things harder in the yard as the pallets had to be made with 80 trees on each where each tree is packed on by hand. The second way we worked it was, netted trees in the field were loaded into a small trailer by hand then brought to yard area where they were separated and loaded into the palletiser by the excavator cutting down on workforce in the yard with less physical stress exerted on the workforce.

I have a video clip here as to the goings on of the palletising of trees. Roughly a 1000 trees were getting put on pallets per day with our estimate of total harvest of about 18000 trees being harvested to date. As quick as it arrives its over for yet another year and we are left wondering what all the fuss was about.

Find video clips here , here and here

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8 Responses to “Machineshift.com and its involvement in other operations, Christmas Tree Harvesting”

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