Pros & Cons of Horticulture Mobility Systems

As space becomes a growing concern many indoor horticulture grow operations are moving toward stacked vertical growing systems. Vertical horticulture grow racks are exploding in popularity and for exactly this reason. One of the most popular add-ons or options for them is a mobility system.

Track based mobility systems & caster wheels are the most popular solutions to make vertical grow racks mobile. Let’s take a look at why these are the most popular options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a mobility system vs stationary vertical grow racks.

Pros

  1. Space – Mobility systems do save some space. If space is at an ultra premium then this might be your only option to increase the size of your canopy.
  2. Aesthetics – Mobile grow racking systems look great to those who don’t need to use them on a regular basis. Being able to move an entire row of plants at a time looks very professional and over-the-top.
  3. Professional Installation* – Most mobility systems require professional installation so they are the cornerstone to most turn-key based grow systems currently available. This does however add to upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees.

* – Applies only to track based mobility systems

Cons

  1. Extra Upfront Costs – Irrigation, Ventilation & Electrical provisions need to be able to accommodate movement on the mobility system.
  2. Possible Tangles – Due to the extra length required the lines are a possible source of entanglement and extra hassle.
  3. Wear & Tear* – The daily use of the mobility system puts a lot of wear and tear on the parts and may require extra maintenance and periodic repairs.
  4. Rust* – Due to the high moisture environment rusting tracks may be an issue.
  5. Increased Liability – Moving structures may require additional liability insurance coverage, seismic testing, etc.
  6. Emergency Access* – If the mobility system were to ever break down some of the plants may not be easily accessible.
  7. Accessibility* – It can be cumbersome to move several rows of grow racks to get to a buried row at the beginning, middle or end.
  8. Inflexible Layout* – Due to the installation you are limited to a single layout from the beginning. There’s no flexibility and you cannot rearrange your grow space later.
  9. Installation Costs* – The cost of professional installation is substantial
  10. Time Consuming* – To move each row of racks on a regular basis is time consuming, cumbersome and annoying. 
  11. Space Saved – The amount of space saved is minimal. You are only saving the width of the isles except one as you need that space to move the racks.

* – Applies only to track based mobility systems