Loddington Farm took delivery of a Pluk-O-Trak this summer to revolutionise the way they pick fruit. With the orchards perfectly suited for the harvesting machine (post and wire set up) the picking rate has dramatically increased, allowing for picking at the perfect time. James Smith opted for our junior version with 4 picking arms transporting the fruit to a bin filler, in combination with an empty bin trailer being towed behind.
Compared to picking trains the Pluk-O-Trak dramatically reduces the picking cost per bin, increases storage efficiency due to less empty space in the bin and reduces tractor movements in the orchard. All these combined add up to big savings year on year. Initial figures suggest that picking costs are reduced by £5 per bin, and overall costs reduced by £11 due to the reasons highlighted above.
The machine isn't just a one trick pony, many of our clients use it all year round for pruning and thinning as well as harvesting, maximising the return on the initial investment. Our harvesting equipment stays on the machine throughout, negating any chance of removal damage. Furthermore the Pluk-O-Trak perfectly balances solidity with weight; easily negotiating the worst of winters, with its 4 wheel drive without turning your orchard into a potato field.
It's just under two weeks until the National Fruit Show at Detling showground kicks off again and we will be taking up our customary position at stand K9. Our partners in crime, BURG will be just next door at K10. The usual fan favourites of Gert Brouwer for GREEFA, with Vincent Sanders and Thijs Munckhof for Munckhof will be there. We also have a special new addition of Han Smits, one of the new owners of Munckhof making his first appearance, please give him a warm welcome!
We hope to see all the familiar faces and also hopefully some new ones too. Come by and enjoy a sandwich and tea whilst marvelling at our impressive range of machines on display.
Until then, happy harvesting.
Winter is rapidly approaching and for those among you that haven't ordered their trees yet fear not, we still have some trees available for this year including:
Apples: 2 year well feathered knip trees on M9
Cherries: 2 year well feathered knip trees on Gisela 5 & 6
We are delivering plenty of Gala Schnico trees this year, as well as Braeburn, being modelled by our glorious leader, Peter Kelly.
Newmafruit have joined the increasing band of brothers that have installed an internal sensor system to evaluate the insides of fruit in a non destructive way. Affixed to the first 1.6 metres of their GREEFA Geosort the intelligent flavour analysis (iFA) system utilises witchcraft and wizardry to asses the internal condition of a fruit. It's actually a clever system of shining a light through the fruit and measuring the spectrum at the other end (each problem gives a specific measurement) and the computer learns problems for each customer's fruit, tailoring it's results. If (when) computers take over the world. I think we can point to this as an obvious sign of progression.
The iFA system removes the possibility of fruit being rejected by stores for problems that are invisible to the human eye and easily pays back the investment when a year of bad fruit hits.
The installation included a 2 day training trip which saw Monika and Rafal go to the GREEFA factory and have on site training about how to operate the new piece of kit. Furthermore GREEFA offer lifetime assistance with the iFA system, with each set of results you send them being made into an updated model for the duration of your possession of the iFA (something no other company offers). This outstanding service is just one example of the kind of care GREEFA takes of every customer.
Newmafruit have more exciting news in the pipeline, which we will share in due course....watch this space! Until then....
We all hope the 2018 season has gone without a hitch and the early weather wasn't too unkind! You've worked your machines hard, they've done you proud and now it's time to reward them with a good service. We are available to come and show your machines some love, just give us a call now on 01227 765069 to book yourselves in and prepare for another successful 2019.
Bardsley Farms have just taken delivery of their very first (and hopefully not their last!) 3 row sprayer at River Farm and it looks magnificent! Paul Hamlyn has been the architect of this masterful plan from start to finish and has ensured that everything is to the specifications required, as well as keeping a firm eye on safety; the machine including hydraulic brakes and a light system to ensure maximum control for road driving.
Whilst the Munckhof 3 Row looks like a daunting beast, the operation of it is much like any other spraying machine; after a short transition and learning period everything becomes second nature, the operator able to swing the boom arms in and out/up and down with ease.
The 3 Row sprayer will make the whole exercise much more efficient allowing spray operators time to spot potential problems within the orchards and being able to react to them much quicker. This reduces the likelihood of a real problem taking root in the precious orchards and with the tremendous capacity of the Munckhof, it makes solving the problem happen a lot faster too!
If you like the look of this and want to know more, drop us a line or pick up the phone and we will be happy to help find the right sprayer for you.
Bardsley Farms have been expanding at an exponential rate over the past decade and their latest development sees a revolution of their packing lines. Out goes the old equipment and in come the state of the art packing lines from one of our premier suppliers; BURG.
Ben Bardsley, the Managing Director, had a vision to future proof the packing process and has introduced five new lines spanning the three disciplines; flow wrapping, hand lines and poly bagging. This diversification has ensured the company is able to keep pace with the constantly changing requirements placed upon them.
A brand new BURG 3D POLSAP now stands pride of place; one robot serving five lines. The cutting edge robot has a very high capacity, allowing preferential feeding to high throughput lines and also dedicated safety zones, if hand feeding of imported product would be necessary at the same time as British fruit. This allows the customer to have maximum flexibility whilst remaining as productive as possible. Furthermore, bin nesting is an additional option, saving space and time.
After months of planning, the equipment arrived on site and was put in place and ready for initial testing within one week. No hyperboles needed here! The 5th line was brought forward due to Bardsley Farms growing order volumes and adds yet more capacity to an already high throughput enterprise.
BURG's exceptional customer service has been invaluable during both the planning process and installation; tailoring their machinery to suit the customer's needs. Their expert engineers, along with Kent Fruit Services', work tirelessly to make the customer's visions a reality.
We at Kent Fruit Services hope our partnership with Bardsley Farms continues long into the future and look forward to our next project together.
If any of this has raised any questions or you would like to discuss an upcoming project, don't hesitate to get in touch.
Everyone here at Kent Fruit Services would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an even better New Year. We're hanging up our overalls and donning our Christmas jumpers and we will see you all in 2018!
We will be available for breakdown call-outs over the festive period, on the usual numbers.
Maybe you think the millennium bug was actually 17 years delayed or you've just been too busy picking this year's crop and have forgotten about next year; fear not we still have some trees available for planting this winter! At the very least it would make a wonderful Christmas present for that special someone and doesn't even need to be wrapped.
We currently have:
1000 Bramleys on M26
Plenty of Gala trees
Merchant, Karina, Regina and Sweetheart
The National Fruit Show 2017 has drawn to a close and what a great show it was this year! From all of us here at Kent Fruit Services we want to thank all of you that came to see us and made the show such a success. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to catch up on all the seasons exploits. Coming to my first fruit show ever, it was great to be welcomed with such warmth and to have lovely conversations with everyone.
The Smartpackr was a big draw, with the ingenius robot running causing quite a stir at the exhibition; no passer-by could resist taking a look! We hope to see a few operational in UK packhouses over the course of next year!
Once again thanks to our suppliers, Greefa (Gert Brouwer) and Munckhof (Thijs and Vincent) and everyone that made the few days so special. We hope to see you throughout the season to come and at next year's show too.