Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shipping Out Pecans

    It wasn't that many years ago that shipping out pecans meant spending all day carrying 140lb burlap bags of pecans into a semi truck box trailer and stacking them 5 bags high. It was exhausting work and I'm so glad the industry has moved to a bulk handling system. Today, most pecan growers store their crop in super sacks that can hold 1300-1700 lbs of pecans (large white bag in photo above). With that much weight in the sack only a front end loader (pictured above), skid steer, or forklift can handle lifting and moving a super sack.  These bags feature a spout on the bottom that can be opened to dump the nuts out of the sack.  When it comes time to ship out the crop we use a belted tube elevator to lift the nuts up into a standard semi-truck grain trailer (photo above). The pecan industry's move to bulk handling has been a real labor saver for both growers and shellers. A grain truck can move around 48,000 lbs of pecans a load.