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8 June 2023

Can I build my fruit protection myself?

Can I build my fruit protection myself?

A fruit canopy is an investment for years. Proper system standards (post spacing, anchor spacing and so on) along with good quality materials largely determine the lifespan of a fruit canopy. Only the installation of a fruit hailnet structures also determines the life span of a foil canopy or hail net system. Therefore, do you necessarily have to have a fruit hailnet structures built by an assembly company or can you build it yourself? In this blog, I would like to give you a clear picture of the installation of fruit hailnet structures, which tools are needed and the easiest way to build a fruit hailnet structure yourself.

3 options for installing a fruit protection system

In general, there are 3 options for installing a protection system.

1.Complete unburdening by an assembly-company.

An installation company or the supplier of the fruit canopy installs the entire canopy and you do not have to worry about it. Pressing the posts, turning the anchors and all other work is done for you. Of course, this does involve an investment. Having a hail-net roof built costs on average €10,000 per hectare. For a foil cover, the investment is around €20,000 per hectare.

2.Guidance by collaborating with assembly contractor.

Some assembly specialists from an assembly company work with your people and install the entire canopy together. The assembly specialists teach your people how best to build a fruit protection system and what they should pay attention to. The advantage is that in the case of new hailnet or foil system in the future, you will have plenty of knowledge to build the hailnet system yourself.

3.Advice during construction by experienced assembly specialist

You build the fruit canopy yourself or together with your people. An experienced assembly specialist will come by from time to time if necessary to explain things. For example: How to easily sight the bracing posts and how to most efficiently apply the hail nets to the wire mesh. The advantage of this option is that you learn a lot from an installation specialist, but the investment for installation is often only around €1,500.

Or build it yourself?

Can you build a fruit canopy yourself? Yes, you can! Building a fruit protection system is no higher maths as long as the right information is available. You can often request handy tools from the material supplier to install a fruit canopy yourself. Useful tools for installing a fruit canopy are:

  1. A detailed manual with all assembly steps clearly described and illustrated. This allows you to view the steps at your leisure and apply them in practice.
  2. GPS designs. Often, the supplier will measure your orchard GPS. You will then receive a 2D drawing (also known as a pile plan) and 3D designs. This gives you insight into where the poles, anchors and suchlike should be placed. With a DWG plotting document from the supplier, you can also put the contractor to work.
  3. With 3D animation videos makes building a fruit canopy even easier. The videos show you exactly how to install the materials.
  4. Some fruit system suppliers also offer Whatsapp coaching during construction. Send your question, photo or picture with question and get clear advice on how to continue building your fruit canopy.

Would you like to know more about installing a fruit canopy in advance? Download our basic 3-step hail cover construction manual here. 

Download our free handbook here!

Handboek hagelnetten

What machinery is needed when building a fruit protection system?

Before you start building, it is of course important that all the machinery needed in building the fruit protection structure is in place. Having the machinery in good order saves time in building.

  1. A tractor with lift mast;
  2. A flat car for transporting materials.
  3. An aerial work platform with minimum working height of 3.0m.
  4. Forklift for unloading and transporting materials.
  5. Unrolling rack and steel tube for unrolling hail nets or foil.
  6. Wire unwinder.

Don't have all the machines? Often they can also be rented or bought from the fruit canopy supplier.

What tools are needed when building a fruit protection system?

Before you start building, it is of course also important to have all the tools needed when building the fruit canopy. Having the tools in good order saves time in building.

  1. Tightener 2 tonnes with clamps;
  2. Felco wire cutters;
  3. Impact spanner and impact caps and screwdriver.
  4. Standard tools such as spade, mallet, etc.

Don't have all the tools? They can often also be rented or bought from the supplier of the fruit canopy.

In conclusion

I hope this blog has given you a good insight into building a fruit canopy. So building a fruit canopy can easily be done by yourself provided handy tools, machinery and tools are in place. So choose a supplier who supports you in this. When will you start building?

Rick Mudde - English

Rick Mudde

Product specialist fruit canopies

My mission is to help as many fruit growers as possible get a good harvest.

So that fruit damage can be prevented, no delivery problems occur, and fruit growers can harvest successfully!