Buying a meat shredder, or any equipment really, for your meat shop or food processing facility can be costly. Getting the features you want in the time frame you want it and making it integrate easily with your current processes adds up — and sometimes you don’t know the full cost until you’ve paid it.
Saving money when buying a meat shredder starts with knowing the full cost of the machine. Until you know the associated costs of the meat shredder you want to buy, you won’t have a clear idea of how well it fits within your budget.
The Real Cost of Buying a Meat Shredder
Consider these associated costs when buying a meat shredder:
- Delivery / Shipping
- Set-Up Fees and Training
- Supporting Equipment for Integration — think tables, loading and unloading conveyors, dumpers, and more.
- Modifications to the Machine to Fit Your Operation — does the shredder itself require any modifications to fit your current process?
- Ongoing Maintenance Costs — how much time and money will go into regular upkeep and maintenance on your shredder?
- Ongoing Cleaning Costs — how much time and money will go into cleaning your shredder?
- Upgrading the Machine for More Output Later — will you need to upgrade to a larger model down the line to accommodate an increase in product output goals?
Money Saving Tips for Buying a Meat Shredder
Knowing the associated costs of buying a meat shredder will give you a better idea of the full investment you are making in the machine. When you know those costs, it’s easier to find ways to save money. These tips will help!
Before you launch into buying a meat shredder, consider how you want to integrate it into your current operation. Ask yourself these questions:
- Will you manually load and unload the machine?
- Do you want to feed product into and out of the machine automatically?
- Do you want mechanical assistance in loading product into the machine, via a dumper or lifter?
- Do you need any supporting equipment for using the shredder, such as tables, trays, or carts to help load and unload the machine?
Answering these questions will give you a starting point in your search for buying a meat shredder — and help you determine what other equipment you will need to purchase with the shredder.
Once you know how you want to integrate the shredder, start looking for meat shredders that offer easy integration, and for companies who not only sell meat shredders, but also the supporting equipment to go with it. You can often get a deal on bundling a meat shredder with the equipment needed to integrate when you purchase it all from the same company.
Employee safety is a big concern in the meat processing industry. According to the California Department of Labor Statistics and Research, workers in food-processing plants have a higher likelihood of being hurt on the job than workers in many other industries.1 One injury while using a meat shredder could end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially when you think about the damage that a meat shredder could do to the human body.
When looking at buying a meat shredder, it’s important to think about employee safety. Ask yourself these questions:
- What safety features are required on the meat shredder to comply with your company’s safety policies?
- What safety features come standard on the meat shredder, and what features are optional?
- Will you need to purchase other safety equipment, such as ergonomic stands, dumpers / vacuum lifts, and guarding?
Shelling out the money for additional safety options is always a good idea, as it saves you from the high cost of employee injuries. Or, better yet, find a meat shredder that comes standard with all the safety features to keep employee hands out of the machine.
Regular cleaning of your meat shredder comes with its own costs — and usually those costs are associated with the time needed to clean the machine. A meat shredder that requires a lot of dismantling and special tools to access the shredding blades will cost you a lot in down time and employee pay.
Look for these easy-cleaning features when buying a meat shredder to save you cleaning costs:
- Tool-less removal of guarding
- Easy open for cleaning
- Wash-down motor
- Stainless steel construction
Buying a meat shredder that is easy to clean will save you BIG.
Similar to cleaning, regular maintenance of your meat shredder will cost you in down time and employee pay. A meat shredder that requires a lot of regular maintenance will require a lot of down time — costing you in loss of product and greater payroll expenses.
When buying a meat shredder, look for one that does not require a lot of maintenance. Tool-less removal of guarding, stainless steel construction, minimal parts all will save you in down time.
Also, look for a meat shredder supplier who offers replacement parts and purchase one of each upfront. This will save you delivery time of replacement parts should your machine break down at any point.
Think Long Term
When buying a meat shredder, think long term. While right now you might not need a meat shredder capable of handling more than 200 pounds of meat per hour, if your business grows (who doesn’t want that?!) you might need a bigger meat shredder in the future.
Thinking through your long-term goals before buying a meat shredder will end up saving you money in the long run. Buying a meat shredder for your current needs is great, but if you outgrow your machine in a year, you’ll be right back at square one of needing to buy a new meat shredder.
Ask yourself these questions to help think long term:
- Do you plan on increasing the amount of shredded meat product in the future?
- Do you want to grow your business bigger than it is now?
- Do you foresee your shredded meat products being a big hit with customers?
- Will you be heavily marketing your shredded meat products?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be worth investing in the next meat shredder model up from what you currently need. Doing so will give you the room to grow your business without the need to invest in another meat shredder soon.
Invest in the Best
When you’re in the process of buying a meat shredder, start by checking out our Cove Meat Shredders. These shredders are designed for easy integration, come standard with a number of safety features, are easy to clean and maintain, and come in three different models allowing you to upgrade for future growth. They come equipped with the 5 most important options you should look for in a meat shredder. As a custom design and manufacturing company, we are also able to provide you with any of the integration equipment you need, and can even layout an integration line for you.
Start your search for a meat shredder by downloading the Fusion Cut catalog. Simply click the button below to get your copy today.
1. Department of Industrial Relations Cal/OSHA Consultation Service Research and Education Unit. Ergonomics in Action: A Guide to Best Practices for the Food-Processing Industry. California: California Department of Industrial Relations, 2003. Print.