Seed World

Bringing the Washing Station to You

John Bertilino, national sales manager for Buckhorn Services, unveils a new mobile washing service which he said represents a major new convenience for the seed industry. PHOTO: JILL HOLLOSI

The new ASTA Innovations Lounge helped showcase the seed industry’s first mobile washing service today at the American Seed Trade Association’s CSS & Seed Expo in Chicago.

John Bertilino, national sales manager for Buckhorn Services, unveiled the service which he said represents a major new convenience for the seed industry. “We identified several problems the customer base was seeing, and a lot of them said they were having a hard time washing their boxes,” he said. “They can’t get temporary staff in to do their washing, or it’s too labour intensive and slow.”

For years, Buckhorn has been referring its CenterFlow seed box customers to third-party companies to wash their containers for the upcoming season, which resulted in additional freight charges. Some seed customers opted to wash the containers in-house. Unfortunately, this caused various labor challenges, liability risks, and time constraints.
Subsequently, Buckhorn Services was born, and the company developed and deployed its first mobile washing unit designed to travel directly to customer locations.
Container washing generally occurs between June and October as seed companies prepare to distribute seed in the ensuing months. The primary benefit of the mobile washing unit is that it allows seed manufacturers to focus on their core business while reducing transportation expenses and multiple stages of container handling.
The mobile washing unit is comprised of two 53’ trailers. One is a dry van that contains equipment, and the other is a flatbed that houses the washing unit and conveyors. On site, the washing unit is backed up to one of two adjacent dock doors. A conveyer system in the design of a horseshoe is set up, so as boxes proceed through the washing unit, they re-enter through the adjacent door. Set up and tear down is quickly managed by Buckhorn Services’ on-site team.
The service can do over 60 boxes per hour.
“What we can do in a few days compared to what someone can do with a power washer is significant,” Bertilino said.
Buckhorn Services also currently offers recycling and buy-back services, removing damaged or unusable products from a customer’s system.
For more info check out Buckhorn Services at booth 313 in Columbus Hall or visit