Fruit harvesting by heavy machineries had always remained a mystery for me, given the fruits like grapes can be so tender to withstand the touch of steel. Until today our Facebook editor showed this Expand R5090 harvest system by Pellenc, a French company specializing in agriculture and urban cleaning machineries.
What happens here is:
A tarpaulin big enough to cover the is rolled out on wheels, completely covering the fall-area of the tree that bears the ripe fruit.
Subsequently another tractor extends out a vibrating clamp that embeds opposing jaws to clench on the trunk . The clamp powered by hydraulic mechanisms continuously shakes the tree, stripping the fruits off branches.
As the process ends, the tarpaulin rolls back in with more than 300kg of harvest, which will later be en route to the crates on a conveyor belt.
The whole set up saves 25% of harvest time on average. And it is complimented by a drawbar that significantly improves the turning radius, making maneuvering this gigantic system more manageable.