CANADA - The general manager of Sask Pork is confident automating the washing and disinfection of livestock trucks and trailers will speed up the process, improve consistency and cut costs, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As part of research being conducted in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute are exploring the potential of automating the washing and disinfecting of livestock trucks and trailers.
The goal is to come up with an automated system that removes the human element from the process to ensure a quick consistent wash at a reasonable cost.
Neil Ketilson, the general manager of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says the target is a wash that can be completed in one hour for C$250.
Neil Ketilson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
It's a little bit variable depending on where you go.
The people running the truck washes and the trucking companies themselves have their own washes to some degree.
Washes are taking up to three to four hours depending on where it is.
Typically what they do is they take a fire hose and wash out all the manure and organic matter that might be in the trailer and then they go back in there and do a more thorough wash afterwards, dry it and disinfect it and its ready for inspection before it goes out on the road again.
It's typically, like I said, three or four hours of time and the costs are up to C$800 a wash depending on what all you do.
Mr Ketilson is confident an automated system will benefit fit the entire industry.
He says it will ensure the truckers, the producers, the packers and everybody else that they are getting a very clean wash that's relatively easy and is hopefully relatively inexpensive, and it will allow the truckers to maintain their focus on moving livestock.
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