Current Mechanical Harvesting Systems
Continuous Canopy Shake and Catch System
One continuous canopy shake and catch set (CCSC) includes a minimum of four machines--two harvesting units and two field trucks (goats) into which fruit is conveyed. Most systems engage 2 additional field trucks that allow transport of fruit to the bulk trailers without stopping the harvesting operation. Harvesters work in parallel on either side of the tree row. Good synchronization allows the two harvesters to minimize fruit drop to the ground. A CCSC system travels between 1 and 2 mph down the row. Shaker heads penetrate the canopy and vibrate up & down and side to side to remove fruit. Fruit falls on to a catch frame and is conveyed to a trailing field truck.
CCSC system is well suited for long rows and uniform sized trees. Trees have to be “skirted” to allow optimal fruit collection. On trees that have been skirted and average between 3 to 3.5 boxes per tree, performance measures average:
Machine speed: 450 – 500 trees/hr, assuming no downtime
Labor productivity: 100 box/hour per crew member
Up until the 2004-05 season, Oxbo and Korvan were two manufacturers of CCSC equipment.
Korvan has since discontinued production, leaving Oxbo as the only manufacturer
of CCSC systems. For a more detailed explanation of performance measures, how they
were defined and the data collected from field observations, see
FDOC Annual Report 2003-04.