A good mushroom picking trolley should have features that make picking as efficient as possible. Therefore, it should be equipped with solutions that facilitate picking from the top and bottom shelves of the shelving, which are harder to reach. But what solutions exactly? What to look for in a trolley to ensure effective bottom and top shelf picking?
Are specialized trolleys a good choice, or are comprehensive trolleys better?
There are two ways a mushroom growing farm can approach the problem regarding picking from the bottom and top shelves of the shelving. The first option, still in use on some farms, requires using two different trolleys working in parallel.
One of the trolleys is only suited to picking from the bottom shelf, while the second one allows for picking from all the other shelves, i.e., from the second or third shelf all the way to the top one.
Another option is investing in a comprehensive trolley, which facilitates picking from all of the shelves, including the top and bottom shelves. It’s a better solution for many reasons, for example, due to the fact that there’s no need to maneuver two trolleys around the working space, which makes picking easier and safer.
Furthermore, two specialized trolleys would require more pickers – with one trolley that fulfills both of their purposes, labor costs are much lower, as it’s possible to pick the same amount of mushrooms with reduced staff. Lower maintenance costs are also worth mentioning – one trolley takes up less space and is less costly and faster to service than two.
An ergonomic trolley is the way to go
It’s worth making sure that the chosen trolley is ergonomic, as ergonomics equals more comfortable and efficient work. But what physical qualities determine whether a trolley can be called ergonomic?
All of the mushroom containers, remote control panel and other trolley features have to be placed in such a way that they will be easy and fast to reach. Location and optimal construction of the seat are also important – a well-made seat will greatly increase the picker’s comfort.
That’s not all – the picker won’t be able to effectively pick if the shelves won’t be visible enough, so lamps mounted on the trolley need to be properly positioned, to provide good visibility (whether the picker is sitting or standing). It’s worth noting that pickers might differ significantly in height, so modern, ergonomic trolleys should offer the ability to adjust certain elements and features to a given person’s needs.
The platform should lower and rise to the necessary height
The height to which the platform of the trolley can lift or lower itself plays a significant role in the ability to effectively pick from the bottom and top shelves of the shelving.
Some trolleys might have platforms that can’t be lowered enough for the picker to comfortably reach the bottom shelf, even if they are advertised as trolleys capable of bottom shelf picking.
Similarly, not every mushroom picking trolley has a platform whose maximum height will allow it to facilitate picking from the top shelf of the shelving, which can be located quite high. Many pickers might turn out to be too short to reach it easily (or at all).
After many years of experience in the mushroom growing industry, we’ve come to a conclusion that optimal construction of the trolley, which allows for easy and fast picking from top to bottom shelves of the shelving, should be one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a mushroom picking trolley.
Modern, ergonomic trolleys equipped with optimal solutions might require a bigger investment upfront than cheaper, more basic models, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long term. They ensure lower maintenance and labor costs (which are one of the biggest costs associated with running a mushroom growing farm) and high efficiency, all while reducing employees’ fatigue, leading to visibly increased profits.