Tools of the trade: The flat filler

 

Our flat filler is an amazing machine. We use it to fill all of our flats, pots, baskets, planters, and plug trays with soil. It saves us so much time versus filling everything by hand!

How this delightful contraption works: One person is typically in charge of keeping the bin full of soil, and will cut open bales & feed them into the bale buster. This part breaks the compacted soil part into smaller chunks before feeding them up a conveyor into the bin. From there, the soil is carried up another conveyor and dropped through a chute. One person stands on the intake side, feeding in whatever vessels we need filled, let’s say a pot. The pot is carried on a conveyor under the chute where the dirt is being dropped. We can control the speed so that the pot is filled completely before exiting the machine (since different sizes will take different amounts of dirt). Just before exiting the machine, the pot passes under a brush that scrapes excess soil from the top of it, creating a level surface and minimizing waste. The soil that is brushed away falls back into the machine, and is carried on yet another conveyor back to the bin to repeat its journey. A third person waits on the outtake side, removing full pots and loading them onto carts. The carts are either pushed out of the way when full to be moved later, or a fourth person steers them to their destination and unloads them, then brings back the empty cart to use again.

 

 

 

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