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Current Mechanical Harvesting Systems

Trunk Shake and Catch System

One trunk shake and catch set (TSC) includes a minimum of three machines—one shaker unit, one receiver unit, and one field truck (goat). Sometimes one goat can service two TSC units. The shaker unit attaches to the trunk of a tree and shakes the tree for between 5 and 10 seconds. Falling fruit is deflected into the receiver that conveys the fruit to a cart attached to the receiver. The cart can hold between 70 and 90 boxes (90-pounds/box), after which the fruit is dumped into the field truck for transport to the bulk trailer.

The TSC system is well suited for long rows and uniform sized trees. Trees need to have a clear trunk of at least 12 inches and should 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:

Removal: 95%
Recovery: 90%
Machine speed: 235 tree/hr, assuming no downtime
Labor productivity: 90 box/hour per crew member

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.

COE System - In swale
Shaker working in swale, note stabilizing wheel

COE System - Receiver moving
TSC receiver moving to a new tree

COE System - Posistion
Position of shaker (right) and receiver (left) units

COE System - Pull cart
Receiver unit pulls cart, holding 70-90 boxes

COE System - Dumping fruit
Dumping fruit from goat

COE System - Dumping Fruit, cont.
Goat dumping fruit into a trailer

COE System - Preharvest trees #1
Preharvest view of trees and fruit

COE System - Postharvest #1
Postharvest, note fruit on ground

COE System - Preharvest trees #2
Preharvest view of trees and fruit

COE System - Postharvest #2
Postharvest, note fruit on ground