Many people would say that the most labor intensive step in the production of cannabis is the harvest and all would agree that its the most tedious. With the rise in popularity of trimming machine in the market there has been a large interest from consumers to see quantitative numbers on trimming times and weights. Unfortunately, this interest has often been answered by misinformed and misspelled forum posts by those with little experience with trimming machines.
Our research has indicated that it takes an experienced trimmer 5.5 hours to trim 1lbs of cured product. From this data we assume that a trimmer could trim roughly 1.5 lbs in an 8 hour workday. Our CenturionPro Mini Trimming machine (for example) can process up 24-30 lbs of wet product in an hour, assuming you have your material prepped and ready to feed into the machine. Hand trimming rates for two people in an eight-hour day. The same two-person crew could spend their time prepping plants and then trimming at the end of the day and process roughly 600% more.
Trimming machines are ready to go at the push of a button which means no more motivating crews of people to get started in the morning with coffee and donuts. Along those same lines machines don’t need food or long lunch breaks, as long as you can buck the stalks fast enough the machine will continue to process at a steady rate for up to 4 hours. After 4 hours of unit run time it’s suggested that the machine be disconnected from power and lightly cleaned before restarting operation.
Using a trimming machine allows you to free up resources in your operation and allows you to do more with less. Only one person is required to run the machine while others can focus on bucking the stalks and moving product to drying racks or storage. Any other employees who would have normally been dedicated to trimming during this time can now focus on other tasks.
As the cannabis industry evolves producers will have to become more competitive and lowering the overhead associated with trimming is an easy way to add more profit into your pocket. The cost of a one day rental is a fraction of what you would spend hiring a crew to trim your product. Rounding up a crew to process your bumper crop will no longer be an issue. No more no-shows and flaky people to deal with. Trimming machines are easily portable and break down for cleaning in just a few seconds. Plus, almost the entire machine can be pressure washed for easy cleanup.
In an industry where security is pertinent not only to reputation but also mitigating risk, trimming machines run by small trustworthy crews are a smart alternative to large trimming parties. Unfortunately, “loose lips sink ships” and with each crew new member brought aboard for a harvest the opportunity for risk increases. As the industry matures regulations on producers will call for higher security which increases costs with each new employee hired. Remember, trimming machines don’t talk or have ulterior motives.
We all know hand trimming can have varied results from person to person, but a machine produces a consistent product every time. Machine trimmed product is very uniform and most machines can be adjusted to deliver the level of trim you desire. Trimming machines also excel at trimming smaller flowers clusters that would often be ignored by hand trimmers. With a well maintained trimming machine the quality of your final trimmed product will look the same batch after batch. The same can’t always be said about human trimmers who can get tired and sloppy after a day of trimming, which leads to inconsistent results. Instead of relying on other people to share the same level of pride that you have in your product you can use a trimming machine to deliver beautiful results time and time again.
As your seed to shelf life-cycle continuously improves your harvest methods should too; don’t let epic strains and huge colas be your only focus. Supplementing your harvest with a trimming machine yields instant ROI in time savings. Trimming machines are easily scalable, unlike trimming crews. Adding another trimming machine to your fleet is as simple as renting or buying another unit. Hiring new members for your trimming takes time and energy you could be spending elsewhere. For comparison adding another machine is the equivalent of adding 25 people to the operation.
Trimming machines can also be paired with other accessories to make trimming even more efficient.
People often ask about the final quality of machine trimmed product and how it compares to hand trimmed product. The current generation of trimming machines provides close to hand-trimmed quality at a much faster pace than a person can. Trimming machines do not damage trichomes anymore than a hand trimmer would.
By using trimming machines with a non-stick tumbler, such as our unique Quantanium tumbler drum, it allows movement and cutting of the product with minimal human handling. The compact non-stick barrel gently tumbles the product, keeping those valuable trichomes right where you want them on your flowers, Machine trimmed marijuana that has been completely cured is almost indistinguishable from hand trimmed marijuana. We’ve seen no difference between machine trimmed sugar leaves and hand trimmed sugar leaves. The trimmed sugar leaves can be still be used for post production of concentrates and oils using whatever method you choose.
We hope this article serves as a useful tool for growers in the market for a better harvest solution