The Argument for Tandem

If you’re a large commercial cannabis cultivator and you need to process several thousand pounds of product per day you will likely be running two M108s at the same time. But the question we keep getting is whether they should be operated side-by-side, or in tandem (attached front to back.) There are reasonable use-cases for both scenarios, but when possible, we encourage people to operate their M108s in tandem. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Feed rate gains – When operating M108s in tandem, you might expect that you would double your feed rate to maintain the same trim quality as running a single M108 – but that is not the case. Our testing has shown that you more than double your feed rate, about 10% more than double, to do the same quality job.

Feed Rate

Tandem (2 x M108s)

Side-By-Side (2 x M108s)


145-264 lbs/hr

132-240 lbs/hr


48-96 lbs/hr

44-48 lbs/hr

(READ: Why such a large range? Read our blog about feed rate measurement)

  1. Labor costs – To be able to consistently load 2 x M108s in a side-by-side configuration, you need two people feeding them, one for each machine. Not so for a tandem configuration. One employee can load the single hopper on the lead machine, or load a conveyor to easily maintain a consistent feed rate.
  2. Time in the Tumbler – You might think that if you have product running through two M108s it would be in the tumbler for twice as long, but that’s not true. When running in tandem, you will be feeding the machine at over double the rate of a single machine, as well as increasing the tilt angle of the tandem machines. Each of these factors increases the rate the product moves through the machines. Product will, in fact, spend less time running through the tandem setup as it would compared to running through a single machine.
  3. Space – This is often the most important reason to run machines in tandem. You take up less space. Typical commercial setups will use conveyors at the input and output of each machine. In a tandem configuration, only one set of conveyors is needed, but when running machines side-by-side you would require two sets. Space saved from your trimming equipment footprint is space that can be used for other revenue-generating activities.

Every situation is different, but through our testing and experience, we continue to recommend using a tandem configuration when operating multiple M108s. If you’d like to see how the complete commercial system will fit in your facility, contact us for a custom diagram. Further reading: 4 Reasons You NEED Conveyors.

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