When it’s time to harvest, often the first thing that comes to mind is trimming. Traditional hand trimming is both slow and labor intensive usually making it the bottleneck of the cultivation process. Now that the Mobius M108S has evolved trimming to a smooth and near effortless process (if you haven’t seen how the M108S trims in volume at a quality that compares to hand trimming, then do yourself a favor and click here), it’s time to turn our collective attention to feeding your trimming machine. It’s time to think about bucking.
A bucking machine, also known as a destemmer or a debudder, is a harvesting device that efficiently removes buds from stems prior to trimming. A critical efficiency factor that is sometimes overlooked is how bucking volume needs to match or exceed trim volume to keep things moving without any unnecessary idle time of both employees and equipment. To help ensure you’re harvesting as quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively as possible, here are 6 tips for selecting the right bucking machine.
1: Automated VS Manual bucking
Destemming by hand typically produces between 30 and 50 lbs of wet material per hour. Cannabis stalks are cumbersome and pile up quickly getting in the way. Every time flower is handled, resin collects on gloves and sheers instead of staying on the flower where it belongs. Machine bucking is ridiculously easy and lightning fast. The front of the machine has a die plate
with several different sized holes. Behind the die plate is a pair of rollers that grab onto a stem and pull it in. Simply pick the hole that best matches the stem diameter, insert the stem, and watch as the machine pulls it towards the die plate and pops off the buds. Everything is caught in a catch tote to be brought to the trimmer, with stalks caught in a separate tote for disposal.
2: Customizable Controls
Not all bucking machines are created equally. Some include variable speeds to pull stems faster or slower for wet or dry material. Others offer different sized and shaped die plates to better accommodate different strains and stalk sizes. Some operators prefer a die plate with star-shaped holes as they feel the points have a better way of grabbing onto nodes and the base of the cola. Toggling between forward and reverse roller direction allows jambs to be cleared quickly and safely. Consider looking for control variability when selecting the right bucker for your harvest as customization can be the secret to your success.
3: Environmental Considerations
Another consideration is indoor versus outdoor use. Do you grow outdoors and want to buck in the open air? If so, look for outdoor appropriate wheels to handle muddy, uneven surfaces. Don’t forget that these machines require a hard power connection so, look for single-phase 120V power requirements (be cautious running any electrical equipment if there’s standing water outdoors). Heavy-duty castors are ideal for indoor applications to ensure the machine can be positioned where you want it and for movability when it’s time to clean.
4: Cleaning and GMP
We all know that cannabis processing equipment gets dirty and needs to be cleaned between batches. Ease of disassembly, and the type of materials the device is made from makes a big difference on how long it takes to clean and how easily it will integrate into a GMP compliant workflow. Look for a device that can be disassembled with as few tools as possible and stainless steel construction for durability and easy cleaning. Don’t forget that cleaning is a 2 stage job, with the first being removal of plant residue, and the second being surface disinfection. Click here to take a deep dive into cleaning cannabis equipment.
5: Dealing with Stalks and Stems
So now that you’re separating flower from stem with speed, what do you do with all the stems that start to pile up? Consider a bucker that features an integrated stem chipper to free up space and reduce how often the collection tote needs to be emptied. One bag of chipped stems is roughly equivalent to 25 bags of unchipped material. Some chippers even process stems to established government standards for wastes disposal meaning no additional processing is required.
6: Consider Further Automation
Collecting bucked buds in a catch tote is great. Funneling them onto a conveyor that automatically takes them into the waiting tumbler of a trimmer is better. Look for a bucker designed with easy integration into automated workflows to reduce handling and the labor required to process your harvest.
Cannabis bucking equipment is essential for high-volume, cost-effective cannabis production and can easily pay for itself in a single harvest. Don’t let it be an afterthought to your harvest process. Our trim room experts can easily help with all aspects of the harvesting workflow and can help you integrate a quality bucking system like our CannBucker MBX to keep your M108s satisfied. Contact us today to start the discussion.