Agricultural machinery: Grape harvester

Agricultural machinery: Grape harvester

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The grape harvesters can be:
- courses (not very common);
- towed by a tractor to be inter-row;
- self-propelled (self-propelled) self-propelled: operate at much higher forward speeds.

The vertical shaking grape harvesters are little used as they operate on double espalier vineyards (GDC) with a star-shaped working organ that hits the cord from the bottom to the other (vertically) causing the detachment of the grapes from the stalks, while the machines horizontal shaking begins to be widely used.

Horizontal shaking grape harvester

The horizontal shaking grape harvesters are particularly efficient on vertical wall forms such as Guyot or spurred cordon (hence the most widespread use).
They are towed or self-propelled machines, equipped with a hydraulic self-leveling system to allow the correct operation of the work systems and, regardless of the construction solution, they are made up of four distinctive elements:
- Collection group
- Interception group
- Transport device
- Cleaning system

They are machines that straddle the row. inside the machine there are nylon shakers on both sides: subjected to synchronized oscillation which is transferred to the row; together with the row is also put in oscillation luva.
The shaker group is made up of a series of semi-curved vibrating rods, made of glass with a cylindrical section. The system consists of elements parallel to the rows curved in an arch and fixed at the two ends to particular shakers. These rods, mounted both on the right and on the left of the row, are driven by eccentric mechanisms moved by a hydraulic motor which allows a synchronized cyclic mechanism called dynamism controlled by swaying every single plant on the horizontal plane thus allowing the detachment of the berries. These berries will then be collected from said systems. flakes or baskets. In both cases, the product will be conveyed to conveyor belts that will bring the crop to special tanks where the cleaning group, generally made up of 2 or 4 suction fans, removes leaves or other elements.

Principle of operation:
The detachment of the berries from the spine, which remains on the plant, is due to the acceleration that the beaters impart, and not to direct contact.
The positive repercussions on the quality of the grapes are evident, as it limits:
- mashing and the resulting oxidations;
- the percentage of immature grapes, which have a higher detachment force than ripe ones, and therefore remain on the plant if the calibration of the machine is correct for the variety on which it is operated;
- the presence of foreign materials in the harvest.
Product losses are currently attested to values ​​below 5%.

Operational characteristics:
Power required / installed (hp):
- Pull 70-90 HP
- Self-propelled 110-160 HP
Average forward speed (km / h):
- Drive 1.5-2.5 km / hour
- Self-propelled 4.0-6.0 km / hour
Average operating capacity (ha / hour):
- Towed 0.30-0.40 ha / hour
- self-propelled 0.70-1.10 ha / hour

Self-propelled grape harvester with horizontal shaking

Vertical shaking grape harvester

The vertical shaking grape harvesters can be adopted with espalier training systems such as:
- Double curtain: it is made up of two permanent cords supported by a scaffold that allows the mobilization of the supporting wire upwards.
- Free cord: it consists of a single permanent horizontal cord, secured to a support wire that runs to the top of the poles
- Mobilized free cord: differs from the free cord in that a plastic cap is applied to the top of the poles, through which a support wire passes which rests on the poles; the screw stock is arched to give elasticity to the system and the horizontal permanent cord can therefore swing upwards.
- Combi: consisting of two vertical walls side by side supported by a U-shaped structure that alternates along the row with structures with movable arms identical to those of the Double curtain; the supporting wires are passed through a slotted bracket positioned on each of the vertical arms of the U-shaped structure.

Operational characteristics:
- Forward speed during work: 1.5 - 2.5 km / h;
- Operating capacity: 0.25 - 0.35 ha / h; 1.5 - 3.0 t / h worker;
- Detachment from the grapes operated mainly by induced oscillations (and consequent inertia stresses) and not by direct contact with the bunches;
- The losses that are found with vertical grape harvesters vary from 8.5 to 10% of the total production pending (1-1.5% ground losses, 1.5-2% losses on plants, 6-7% must losses) ;
- Less damage to the grapes: the degree of mashing of the harvested grapes is around 7-8%.

Machine operation:
Based on the orientation of the permanent cordons, the grape harvesters can be:
- straddlers, if the permanent cords of the production lines of each row face in the same direction;
- single-line - inter-line: if the direction of the permanent cords on each curtain coincides with the direction of advancement of the machine (arranged in the opposite direction - S - so that the machine operates in both directions of travel).

Self-propelled vertical shaker

Comparison between triainate and self-propelled grape harvesters

Trailed grape harvesters
- ability to overcome higher slopes;
- low weight (but originates a greater trampling of the ground near the roots);
- low purchase and operating costs;
- low productivity (about 2 km / h);
Operational capacity: in medium hill situations with a speed of about 1.6 km / h and an assessment of downtime of 30%, approximately 2 hectares are harvested in 8 working hours;
Self-propelled grape harvesters
- high productivity (up to 5 km / h);
- ease in moving the construction site;
- possibility of mounting other equipment;
- high purchase and management costs;
- high weight
Operational capacity: double production can be achieved in the extended conditions. In the plains, 8 hectares per day are easily reached.
(Source E. Mach Foundation - C.I.F. Ing. Maines Fernando)

Video: Evans Creek Vineyard Grape Harvest (June 2022).