Why hasn't someone invented a machine that takes sand in one side (like a large hopper that a dump truck could fill) and spits out filled and tied sandbags out the other. It seems to me that if something like this were available, a city could buy 10-15 of them for emergency situations and move them around where they had the most need. Every seen on TV is of peope with a shovel, a pile of sand, and someone holding a sandbag while it is being filled. Is there really nothing available to automate this process?
I don't think cities can justify spend a lot of money on a machine that would be used every 5 years or so, that might (or will) be outdated by the second time they use it. The best method IMO is to fill a cement truck full of sand and have a line of people waiting and the end of the chute. The city of Adel has been doing this the past couple of days, and can empty a 7 ton truck in just under an hour.
What about something similar to what hog operations have? Have a bin full of sand and just flip it on and it pumps sand through the system and people are there with bags to get them filled up.
Actually, there are a couple companies that sell hoppers with chutes that people can fille sandbags with. There is still the human component with the filling process as someone needs to hold the bag and the chute just sands out sand.
I was picturing a machine more like a haybailer when bags and sand go in and a tied and filled bag comes out.
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