Fruit Gatherer Patents (Class 56/328.1)
  • Publication number: 20100139235
    Abstract: Harvesting head for picking fruit-bearing hedges, including a chassis in the form of a portal structure supporting, on the one hand, a shaking system including two fruit-detaching assemblies, mounted opposite each other and separated by a vertical space, and, on the other hand, two conveyor systems for receiving and transporting the harvested fruit to a receiving container, the lower horizontal portions of these two conveyor systems also providing tightness, below the shaking units. This harvesting head being supported by a mounting frame which is meant to be rigidly fastened, preferably in a removable manner, at the rear of a self-propelled straddling vehicle, including a height-adjustable chassis. The position of said harvesting head is height-adjustable in relation to said mounting frame, so that when said harvesting head is fastened to the chassis of the self-propelled straddling vehicle, it is mounted in a height-adjustable fashion in relation to said self-propelled straddling vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Applicant: PELLENC (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger PELLENC, Jean-Marc Gialis, Christian Rolland
  • Publication number: 20100139234
    Abstract: Harvesting head for small fruit produced in orchards, in particular for the harvesting of olives, featuring a shaking system including two fruit detaching assemblies mounted opposite each other and separated by a vertical space, characterized in that each of these fruit detaching assemblies comprises two sub-assemblies, i.e. a first lower sub-assembly and a second upper sub-assembly, offset towards the back relative to said lower sub-assembly and in the direction of travel of the machine in operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Applicant: PELLENC (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Jean-Marc Gialis, Christian Rolland
  • Publication number: 20100139233
    Abstract: A harvester includes a conveyor having molded conveyor buckets. The conveyor includes a continuous first chain and a continuous second chain extending parallel to the first chain. Parallel spaced apart rods extend between the chains. Each bucket includes a front wall, a rear wall higher than the front wall, opposed sides connecting the front wall and the rear wall and a bottom portion connecting the front wall, the rear wall and the opposed sides. The front wall includes a mounting portion configured to extend over a rear wall of an adjacent bucket and one of the rods when assembled in a conveyor. The mounting portion is a lip in a first embodiment, an insert in a second embodiment and an upper portion of the front wall folded over in a third embodiment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Applicant: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Terbeek
  • Publication number: 20100132326
    Abstract: The invention concerns a device for separating a harvested crop stream, said device being intended to be mounted in a fruit harvesting machine. The separator device includes longitudinal separator members (2) and a conveyor belt (3), which is driven in a longitudinal direction between an upstream roller (4) and a downstream roller (5). The separator members (2) are fastened, behind the upstream roller (4), by fixing said members to the frame (1) and, in front of said upstream roller, by a rotary member (12) mounted on the frame (1). The rotary member comprises paddles (13), which are adapted to hold the separator members (2) in position during rotation of said member. The invention also relates to a cleaning system comprising this kind of separator device and a harvesting machine comprising this kind of cleaning system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2008
    Publication date: June 3, 2010
    Inventor: Jean-Paul Berthet
  • Patent number: 7698882
    Abstract: A harvesting device for nuts and similar small objects having a handle which receives a manually reciprocable push rod having a spreader on its lower end. Tubular collection chambers are secured to the handle. A continuous coil spring extends between the lower, open ends of the collection chambers. The spreader engages the coil spring within the interior area at the end of the handle. In use, downward pressure applied to the handle at the grip will cause the openings between the coils of the coil spring to separate sufficiently to allow objects on the ground to pass into the interior of the spring and into one of the collection chambers. The collection chambers are emptied by holding the device over a receptacle such as a bin with one hand and operating the push rod in a reciprocating or pumping motion causing the openings between the coils to open and close, facilitating rapid emptying of the collection chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Inventor: Richard Tinlin
  • Patent number: 7695220
    Abstract: A device for transporting articles is disclosed. In the illustrated and described embodiment of the invention, the articles are fruit such as apples, and the articles can be transported from a picking location on a fruit tree to a collection bin or other site. The device includes a tube member adapted to receive and transport the articles, and a plurality of deformable baffles at spaced-apart locations within the tube. Each baffle defines an aperture which permits the article to engage and deform the baffle and aperture so as to move through the aperture and down the tube. The article is urged through the tube by a pressure differential created across the article. In the described and illustrated embodiment of the invention, this pressure differential is a pneumatic pressure differential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Picker Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Vincent E. Bryan, Jr., Alex E. Kunzler, Joseph A. Penaranda, Jeffrey A. Cleveringa, Randy Allard, Daniel Baker, Vincent E. Bryan, III
  • Publication number: 20100064653
    Abstract: A decelerator apparatus for mounting at the end of a pneumatic fruit harvesting or delivery tube. The decelerator comprises a housing with a moving decelerator body aligned with a fruit-receiving inlet connected to the pneumatic delivery tube. The decelerator body, for example a padded rotating wheel, moves at a speed slower than the speed at which the fruit is pneumatically delivered into the housing, and further defines a compressive deceleration path that moves the fruit in a compressive but protective fit toward a housing exit, releasing the fruit after the fruit has been decelerated to the speed of the moving body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Inventors: Charles E. Dietrich, Philip Brown, Michael Rasch
  • Publication number: 20100050585
    Abstract: A crop harvesting machine configured to separate crop, particularly pomegranates, from a tree by straddling the tree as the machine moves along a row of trees. The machine has an inverted u-shaped main frame that supports a sub-frame that defines a harvesting area configured to receive the canopy of a tree therein. A motor supported by the main frame propels the machine along the row of trees. A pair of picking assemblies supported by the sub-frame each comprise a crop separating mechanism having a plurality of rods configured to engage the tree canopy and separate the crop from the tree, a motion inducing mechanism to impart a short duration, snap-like whipping motion to the rods and a canopy engaging mechanism to move the rods in and out of the canopy. An operator area allows the operator to drive the machine along the row of trees and operate the various mechanisms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Publication date: March 4, 2010
    Inventor: Vernal A. Amaro
  • Patent number: 7669399
    Abstract: Apparatus for harvesting grapes without damaging the grapes. A cluster hanger clip is provided to securely hold a cluster of grapes by the stem, in order to cut, carry, and transport the cluster with minimal or no touching of the grape berries. A grape harvesting vehicle which moves between the rows of grapevines in the vineyard, includes grape conveyors, on which the hanger clips are suspended, either temporarily or permanently. The conveyors convey the grape clusters to packers at packing stations on the platform. The packers segregate the grape clusters and pack the clusters into boxes. A palletizer stacks the boxes on pallets in a bin. The platform can change configuration for use in the vineyard, and for travel on the highway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: Sunview Marketing International
    Inventor: John F. Etcheverry
  • Patent number: 7669398
    Abstract: A machine is provided for harvesting produce such as fruit from a pair of adjacent, generally parallel rows of trees. The machine includes a land vehicle for being driven between the adjacent rows of trees. The land vehicle includes a chassis that supports a fruit collection receptacle. There are at least one pair of selectively extendible and retractable lift arms pivotably mounted to the chassis. Each arm in each pair supports proximate a distal end thereof a carrier for holding a person. Each arm is adjustable to position the carrier such that a person in the carrier is able to manually collect fruit form a respective one of the rows of trees. There are plurality conduits, each of which is attached proximate an upper end thereof to a respective one of the carriers such that an entrance of the conduit is accessible to a person in a respective carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: Supertrak, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas P. King, Bobby Ray Ricks
  • Publication number: 20100037583
    Abstract: A mobile system for improving the picking and preliminary processing of apples, citrus, stone fruit and the like is disclosed and claimed. The system comprises a mobile chassis upon which can be mounted picking stations, pneumatic tube transport subsystems, receiving and conveying subsystems, object scanning subsystems, cull diverter subsystems, labeling subsystems, and subsystems for relatively gently placing the objects in a predetermined location in a receiving bin. The system can also include a subsystem for gently placing diverted objects in a receiving bin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: Picker Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Vincent E. Bryan, JR., Vincent E. Bryan, III, Alex E. Kunzler, Randy Allard, Anthony Finazzo, Marc Bommarito, Jeffrey A. Cleveringa
  • Patent number: 7640091
    Abstract: A programmable viticulture management system includes a mechanized device for removing excess undesired portions of plants advances through a vineyard to perform control operations on two rows or half-rows of grape vines simultaneously. Accessories mount to the mechanized device and include various engagement members for engaging the vines. A control system automatically varies the velocity of the engagement members in relation to the vehicle speed. The control system also receives various inputs and provides information on multiple growth control practices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventors: Greg T. Berg, Andrew J. Talbott, Christopher M. Schloesser
  • Publication number: 20090293442
    Abstract: A robotic system and apparatus is provided. The apparatus may include a housing having a flexible manipulating mechanism operatively connected with the housing. The flexible manipulating mechanism may include an end effector configured to manipulate an object. The apparatus may further include a first imaging device associated with the housing, the first imaging device configured to indicate a position of an object. The apparatus may also include a computing device configured to receive an imaging signal from the first imaging device and to direct the flexible manipulating mechanism towards the object based upon, at least in part, the imaging signal. Numerous other embodiments are also within the scope of the present disclosure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 5, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Inventors: Chu-Yin Chang, James D. English, Pablo A. Valdivia y Alvarado
  • Publication number: 20090199532
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting belt and bucket system provides for the redistribution of weight from the wearer's shoulders to the wearer's hips. The belt includes a padded back support and a front support. There is an extrusion on the front support that is used to connect to a bucket, which is strapped to a person wearing the belt. The belt is adjustable, and may be made of a variety of materials, such as nylon. The bucket may hook onto the extrusion on the belt, and the bucket has a closeable opening at the bottom, which is used to release the harvested fruit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2008
    Publication date: August 13, 2009
    Applicant: MARY IMOGENE BASSETT HOSPITAL
    Inventors: Giulia Earle-Richardson, Andrew Earle-Richardson, Christine Mason, Michael Rowland, Suzanne Stack
  • Patent number: 7555888
    Abstract: The harvester frame is supported by laterally adjustable wheels. A hitch draft tube connects the frame to a tractor. A transverse horizontal shaft is journaled on a frame mast. A header frame rear is attached to the horizontal shaft. Ground engaging wheels support the header front. Two spaced apart helix assemblies on the header frame are rotated to remote fruit from plants. The helix forward ends work at ground level. Helix rear ends are elevated. A header lift bar is journaled on the horizontal shaft. A header lift cylinder pivots a free end of the lift bar into engagement with the header frame and lifts header wheels from the ground. Conveyors convey crop material from the helix assemblies to a fruit cleaning assembly with a forward end attached to the frame mast. Separated and cleaned fruit is received from the cleaning assembly and discharged from the harvester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Inventor: Aaron M. Boese
  • Patent number: 7549279
    Abstract: The mounting mechanism comprise: on the straddle carrier side, a main frame mounted on wheels and suitable for selective lifting and lowering of the main frame in relation to the ground; on the equipment side, an auxiliary frame suitable for fixing to the main frame using detachable connection mechanism allowing it to be detached; and of a number of struts for supporting the auxiliary frame on the ground when the auxiliary frame is separated from the main frame. The main frame and the auxiliary frame both comprise a pair of parallel, substantially horizontal girders. One of the frames comprises mechanism for longitudinal guidance able to co-operate with the girders on the other frame to guide the two frames in along each other, when the main frame moves longitudinally with respect to the auxiliary frame supported by the struts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: CNH France S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Camille C. R. Mérant, Guy M. A. H. Bossard, Jean-Paul Berthet
  • Patent number: 7543436
    Abstract: A harvester incorporating at least one force balanced shaker vibratory brush as the harvesting apparatus uses a sensing system connected to spring feelers to generate a signal responsive to the location, shape and position of a tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Kevin M. Caine, Marty D. Youman
  • Patent number: 7540137
    Abstract: An automated fruit harvester which includes sensors and robotic arms which position themselves adjacent to a fruit to be harvested. A fruit transport head secures the fruit, cuts the stem, and transports the fruit within the hollow arm, to deposit the fruit in a collection bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Inventor: George Gray
  • Patent number: 7536848
    Abstract: An article pickup system includes a pickup vehicle having collector assemblies extending in a side by side configuration and engaging articles on the ground. The collector assemblies generally include a rotating drum with flexible fingers having widened ends extending outward there from. A separator assembly includes sprocket type devices to remove the collected articles from the collector assemblies. In one embodiment, the collector assemblies pivot independently from one another and the separator assemblies are mounted on a linkage to maintain spacing and move upward and downward with the collector assemblies. The collector assembly includes a series of conveyors for transporting the collected fruit. The collector assemblies may be utilized with a sweeper device having generally horizontally extending arms that engage fruit on the ground and move it toward the collector assemblies with the arms raising up to release the fruit in the desired location in the path of the collector assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Briesemeister, George Arthur Michaels, Bryn Briesemeister, Christopher M. Schloesser
  • Publication number: 20090120050
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting machine for trees, shrubs and the like planted in rows, which applies a controlled intensity and direction blast wave to dislodge the fruit from the tree. The fruit-harvesting machine makes use of the advantages of using blast wave generating devices which have a combustion chamber and the combined effect of blast waves with the every released by gases during an explosion to dislodge the fruit from the tree. Additionally, the harvesting machine uses the emission of short, high intensity light pulses directed towards the fruit to be harvested, these pulses act spatially and deactivate microorganisms which are pathogenic for humans and plants.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2005
    Publication date: May 14, 2009
    Inventor: Carlos Enrique Constans
  • Publication number: 20090107101
    Abstract: Apparatus for harvesting grapes without damaging the grapes. A cluster hanger clip is provided to securely hold a cluster of grapes by the stem, in order to cut, carry, and transport the cluster with minimal or no touching of the grape berries. A grape harvesting vehicle which moves between the rows of grapevines in the vineyard, includes grape conveyors, on which the hanger clips are suspended, either temporarily or permanently. The conveyors convey the grape clusters to packers at packing stations on the platform. The packers segregate the grape clusters and pack the clusters into boxes. A palletizer stacks the boxes on pallets in a bin. The platform can change configuration for use in the vineyard, and for travel on the highway.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2008
    Publication date: April 30, 2009
    Inventor: John F. Etcheverry
  • Publication number: 20090038282
    Abstract: Self-propelled work vehicle for harvesting fruit, with a front axle, a rear axle, a steering column, an engine, a control pedal, a seat mounted in a driving position and a plurality of tools, with a control system for controlling the engine, the tools, the control pedal. The control system comprises an electronic joystick, which controls the progress of the self-propelled work vehicle for harvesting fruit so that acceleration and braking are proportional with respect to the angle is maintained when the electronic joystick is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Publication date: February 12, 2009
    Applicant: Monchiero & C. s.n.c.
    Inventors: Danilo Avalle, Massimo Monchiero
  • Publication number: 20080302078
    Abstract: A vehicle for harvesting espalier fruit, such as berries or grapes, and for further processing to a must on the vehicle. The vehicle comprises a frame configured to reach over a row of plants to be harvested in an area of a u-shaped recess of the vehicle. Also included are wheels on both sides of the u-shaped recess and arranged on the frame. Further included is a picking device to separate the fruit from a remainder of the plants. A solid-bowl screw-type centrifuge is arranged directly on the vehicle, which solid-bowl screw-type centrifuge separates and clarifies a fruit mash into at least a solids phase and a liquid phase.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2005
    Publication date: December 11, 2008
    Inventors: Jochen Hamatschek, Frank Schauz, Peter Schottler, Hans-Joachim Beyer, Dominik Zielke, Michael Erbach, Tilo Huhn
  • Patent number: 7462010
    Abstract: A golfball collecting apparatus is provided including a frame and at least first and second discs mounted to the frame for rotation about an axis, the first and second discs having facing surfaces defining a space therebetween in which golf balls become lodged at a first angular position relative to the axis and are carried with the first and second discs about the axis from the first angular position. A first finger is attached to the frame and has a first end disposed in the space to dislodge golf balls carried with the first and second discs about the axis in a first direction about the axis. A second finger is attached to the frame and has a surface disposed in the space between the first angular location and the end of the first finger to dislodge golf balls carried with the first and second discs about the axis in a second direction about the axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: Wittek Golf Supply Company Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Wittek, Jr., Aron Cantrell
  • Patent number: 7455493
    Abstract: A ball pickup device includes a plurality of gang assemblies for pivotal movement about a vertical axis. One of the gang assemblies is positioned at the forward end of the device and includes a float wheel which bears a major portion of the weight of the assembly. This facilitates turning, maneuvering, and wear of the various discs that are included in each gang assembly for picking up balls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2008
    Assignee: Standard Golf Company
    Inventors: Terry L. Schoppe, Scott M. Hottle, Ron L. Saul, Matthew L. Hurley, Greg L. Boyer, Monty G. McFarlane, Patrick J. Trepp
  • Publication number: 20080264030
    Abstract: A clipper or shearing mechanism for separating a produce item such as an apple from the plant upon which it has grown such as an apple tree is disclosed. The mechanism provides a stem separating or severing mechanism comprising at least two mutually movable elements adapted to engage and sever the stem of the produce item. A trigger can be provided to actuate the stem severing mechanism. If desired, a mounting mechanism for mounting the severing elements in a predetermined position relative to a produce intake element can be provided as well. The mechanism can also be provided with crushing mechanisms to crush and soften an exposed portion of the produce item stem. The crushed stem will be less likely to poke and consequently damage adjacent produce items.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Publication date: October 30, 2008
    Applicant: Picker Technologies LLC
    Inventors: Vincent E. Bryan, Alex E. Kunzler, Jeffrey A. Cleveringa, Daniel Baker, Joseph A. Penaranda
  • Patent number: 7412817
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing nuts and fruits, and more specifically, to a mobile apparatus that picks-up fruits and nuts, and similar products from the ground and conditions them, in bulk. The mobile apparatus conditions the fruits and nuts by removing debris with a combination of a belted conveyor and a high volume fan. The plenum of the apparatus is sized to achieve a constant velocity of air throughout the portions of the plenum in contact with the product, providing a constant suction to prevent the entrainment of product into the dust collection system. The processing apparatus can be utilized in a conditioner that picks-up and processes the product and then returns the cleaned and conditioned product to the floor of the orchard or grove. The processing apparatus can also be utilized in a harvester that picks-up and processes the product and then stores the product temporarily in a bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Inventors: Jonathan J. Flora, Douglas W. Flora, Adam L. Benedict, Pierre J. de Wet
  • Publication number: 20080178570
    Abstract: Removable scale for articulated receiving platform equipping small fruit machines such as for example, grape harvesting machines. The removable scale is made of two parts, namely a first anchor and articulation part. The first part has a fastening lug attached onto the carrying boom of a row of scales and a flexible articulation and assembling lug attached to the fastening lug. There is a second flat part forming the scale itself. The first and second parts are provided with additional quick assembly and disassembly device formed by an automatic locking device in an assembling position, accessible from the top of the removable scale.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2008
    Publication date: July 31, 2008
    Applicant: PELLENC Societe Anonyme
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Jean-Marc Gialis
  • Patent number: 7275359
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting machine comprises a harvesting assembly for detaching crop material, comprising fruit and foliage from trees, shrubs and the like standing on said field. A conveyor assembly receives the detached fruit and foliage, together with juice from said fruit, and transports the fruit either directly or indirectly to a container. An extraction fan is installed adjacent a section of said conveyor assembly for separating said foliage from said detached fruit. The conveyor assembly comprises a grate for retaining thereon solid fruit portions and for allowing passage therethrough of said juice and a conveyor for engaging and moving said detached solid fruit portions and foliage along said grate mechanism towards the extraction mechanism. The conveyor assembly further comprises a channel installed below said grate mechanism for receiving said juice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: CNH France S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Camille Mérant, Christophe Robert Defurne
  • Patent number: 7204072
    Abstract: A mechanical pruner has a hinged trimming head that allows the trimming of grape vines growing on sloped ground. The trimming head has hedgers with forward facing cutting teeth and rotating combers that open up the grape vine canopy and pull the vines into the cutting path. By also allowing for multiple adjustments in the height of the pruner, lateral position of the trimming head, lateral position of the hedger relative to the trimming head, and both the lateral and vertical positions of the combers relative to the trimming head, the mechanical pruner provides a user with significant control over the trimming of grapevines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Assignee: National Grape Cooperative, Inc.
    Inventors: James Joy, James Bedient
  • Patent number: 7131254
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing nuts and fruits, and more specifically, to a mobile apparatus that picks-up fruits and nuts, and similar products from the ground and conditions them, in bulk. The mobile apparatus conditions the fruits and nuts by removing debris with a combination of a belted conveyor and a high volume fan. The plenum of the apparatus is sized to achieve a constant velocity of air throughout the portions of the plenum in contact with the product, providing a constant suction to prevent the entrainment of product into the dust collection system. The processing apparatus can be utilized in a conditioner that picks-up and processes the product and then returns the cleaned and conditioned product to the floor of the orchard or grove. The processing apparatus can also be utilized in a harvester that picks-up and processes the product and then stores the product temporarily in a bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Inventors: Jonathan J. Flora, Douglas W. Flora, Adam L. Benedict, Pierre J. de Wet
  • Patent number: 7082744
    Abstract: A stabilizer system provides leveling for a towed harvester vehicle. The harvester includes a hitch having a gimbal mounting to the tractor. The subframe is utilized to accommodate the gimbal and provides for utilizing the mass of the tractor to react to the stabilizer system leveling forces. The harvester utilizes telescoping assemblies that are placed intermediate the hitch and the frame as well as between the axle and the frame. The telescoping assemblies retract and extend to varied positions and provide correction. Flow to extend and retract the telescoping assemblies is provided through a proportional pendulum type valve that increases flow as needed when tilted from horizontal. The flow is increased and decreased in proportion to the amount of tilting from the home vertical position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Briesemeister, Christopher M. Schloesser, Mark Woodruff
  • Patent number: 7080498
    Abstract: Apparatus for harvesting grapes without damaging the grapes. A cluster hanger clip is provided to securely hold a cluster of grapes by the stem, in order to cut, carry, and transport the cluster with minimal or no touching of the grape berries. A grape harvesting vehicle which moves between the rows of grapevines in the vineyard, includes grape conveyors, on which the hanger clips are suspended, either temporarily or permanently. The conveyors convey the grape clusters to packers at packing stations on the platform. The packers segregate the grape clusters and pack the clusters into boxes. A palletizer stacks the boxes on pallets in a tray. The platform can change configuration for use in the vineyard, and for travel on the highway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: Sunview Marketing International
    Inventor: John F. Etcheverry
  • Patent number: 7007449
    Abstract: An orientation system for vegetables includes a plurality of rotating rollers that both pull the vegetable into an inverted position, with leafy top down, and advance the vegetable along the length of the rollers to deliver the vegetables to a cutting system. The orientation system may be included in a vegetable harvester and topper or may be used separate from the harvester vehicle. The orientation system preferably has a plurality of orientation roller pairs, made up of first and second counter-rotating orientation rollers. These rollers may include strips of elastomeric fingers or other protrusions that engage the leafy top and pull it downward. Preferably, one of the rollers may also have a vegetable advancing spiral that moves the vegetables in “auger-style” by pushing the vegetables along in front of the rotating spiral.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Inventors: Duane Kido, David Shuff
  • Patent number: 6997194
    Abstract: An improved self-propelled harvester. The self-propelled harvester passes through a field to be harvested, while laborers place produce on a conveyor belt thereon. The produce is passed through a washing station, where it is preferably exposed to sideward and downward spray. Thereafter, the produce is transported upward along an elevator belt assembly, toward a trailer. The elevator belt assembly preferably has a plurality of flights located on rods positioned between side belts. The rods are spaced sufficiently so that leaves, debris and excess water can readily pass therethrough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Ramsay Highlander, Inc.
    Inventor: Frank J. Maconachy
  • Patent number: 6990794
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting machine comprises a movable frame and a harvesting assembly for detaching crop material, comprising fruit and foliage from trees, shrubs and the like standing on a field. A conveyor receives the detached fruit and foliage, together with juice from the fruit, and transports the same to a container. A stationary screen is installed above the conveyor for retaining thereon solid fruit portions and for allowing passage therethrough of the juice. A cleaning device mechanism is provided above the screen for separating the foliage from the detached fruit. The conveyor is provided with outwardly extending fingers extending through the screen for engaging and moving the solid fruit portions to the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2006
    Assignee: CNH France S.A.
    Inventor: Jean Camille Merant
  • Patent number: 6988353
    Abstract: An agricultural implement comprising a chassis (1) formed of various front (2) and rear (3) tubular, transversal components interconnected with crossbeams (4) and front (5) and rear (6) vertical and lateral struts, forming an ordinarily parallelepiped-shaped structure, the front and rear portions of which constitute attachment points for the front (7) and rear (8) wheel carriages, transforming the assembly into a true trailer, the rear portion of which includes universal coupling points for connection to the drive unit; in addition, the reaping assembly (27) is transversely assembled on such chassis (1) and, right above it or inside the first half of chassis (1) and before the conveyors (24) is assembled a branch collection assembly (28), so that the plant, on being reaped by assembly (27), can be immediately collected by the collecting assembly (28), which throws the branches on the conveyors (24), where the opening (15) concentrates the collected material for alignment thereof over the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Inventor: Luiz Henrique Bertino
  • Patent number: 6978591
    Abstract: A vehicle-carried Tree-Trunk Shaker (TTS) for harvesting tree fruit is configured to prevent the transmission of vibrations from a vibration generator (4) to the TTS and to the vehicle, and for optimal shaking efficiently. Currently, TTSs are allowed to shake multi-directionally and chaotically, convey destructive vibrations to the TTS and to the vehicle, and have low harvesting efficiency. The remedy consists of shaking the trunk only in perpendicular to a pair of jaws (6, 8) clamping the trunk (T), with a unidirectional linear vibration generator vibrating transversally to the trunk. A beam (16) is configured to support the clamping jaws and the vibration generator to form a rigid structure restricted to swivel about a vertical pivot shaft (42) coupled to the vehicle. Thereby there is allowed but a single lateral degree of freedom of motion. Possibly, two vertical pivot shafts (42, 48) are used to that end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: Dotan Ltd.
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: 6959527
    Abstract: A method of relative positioning between agricultural machines and crops on their planting rows having the steps which are performed in real time and during a harvest work and include determining a positioning of each tree top on a trees row, a machine rotor column position, and simultaneously a traveling speed of an agricultural machine, sending tree positioning and machine speed data to a data processor, processing the data and controlling servo mechanisms that actuate actuators which, in turn, place one rotor column with stripping rods in accordance with a determined tree top position and format.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: Maquinas Agricolas Jacto S.A.
    Inventors: João Francisco De Mendonça Fava, Edson Lucio Domingues, Roy Scudder
  • Patent number: 6952914
    Abstract: A deflector (10) for collecting and guiding harvested tree-fruit is implemented for resilient recovery from collisions with obstacles in the field. The deflector is coupled in cantilever to boom harvester (4) mounted on a vehicle (2). The harvester has a telescopic boom (8) with a mobile portion (14) terminated by a clamp (6) able to move in horizontal and in vertical translation towards and along a tree trunk (T). The deflector is coupled to the mobile portion for slaved translation with the clamp. Implemented as an array of separate ribs (32) flexibly coupled together and made of flexible elastic plastic material such as fiberglass, the deflector is lightweight and flexes upon collision to resiliently recover shape after the collision. Being lightweight, the cantilever does not destabilize the vehicle. The structure and the materials of construction of the deflector prevent transmission of vibrations generated by the vibrator (12) used to shake the trunk when harvesting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: 6945022
    Abstract: A fruit harvester includes a vehicle, a boom having a proximal end carried by the vehicle, a shaker head connected to a distal end of the boom for vibrating a tree trunk to shake fruit therefrom, and a fruit deflector comprising upper and lower portions connected together and cooperatively defining a fruit collecting surface for catching fruit shaken from the tree. The fruit deflector is pivotable between operating and retracted positions. The fruit deflector, when in the operating position, preferably has the lower portion adjacent the shaker head. Conversely, the fruit deflector, when in the retracted position, may have the lower portion being pivoted upward and away from the shaker head to facilitate access thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: 6938403
    Abstract: A fruit harvester may include a vehicle, a telescoping boom, a shaker head connected to the distal end of the telescoping boom for vibrating a tree to shake fruit from the tree. A boom positioning assembly is provided for connecting the boom to the vehicle. The boom positioning assembly may include a vertical guide mounted to the vehicle, a hinge joint assembly movable vertically along the vertical guide and connected to the proximal end of the telescoping boom to permit pivotal movement of the telescoping boom in both elevational and azimuthal directions. The boom positioning assembly may also include a vertical actuator for moving the hinge joint assembly vertically along the at least one vertical guide, and an elevational actuator for pivotally moving the telescoping boom in the elevational direction. The vertical guide may be pivotally mounted to the vehicle, and a tilt actuator may be provided for tilting the vertical guide relative to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: 6925792
    Abstract: A fruit harvester for harvesting fruit from a tree includes a shaker vehicle, a boom having a proximal end connected to the shaker vehicle and moveable between an extended position and a retracted position, a shaker head connected to a distal end of the boom, and a fruit deflector carried by the boom. The fruit deflector includes a lower fruit deflecting portion, and an upper fruit deflecting portion. The upper fruit deflecting portion may pivot downward as the boom moves from the retracted position to the extended position, and pivot upward as the boom moves from the extended position to the retracted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Gregory W. Schrader
  • Patent number: 6918239
    Abstract: For relative positioning between an agricultural machine and crops on their planting rows a sensor is arranged forwardly of a sensor of a rotor of an agricultural machine and at a distance which is at least equal to or greater than a top radius of trees to be worked with the radius being measured in a planting row direction, the tree top by the sensor to determine a rearward point, a forward point, a center point and a farthest transverse point from the center point of a tree top, and the rotor is adjusted to define a trajectory of the rotor center with respect to the points, whereupon the steps are repeated for each of the trees in the planting row to be worked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2005
    Assignee: Maquinas Agricolas Jacto S.A.
    Inventors: João Francisco De Mendonça Fava, Edson Lucio Domingues, Roy Scudder
  • Patent number: 6865872
    Abstract: A over-the-row single sided harvester harvests a row crop from a first side of a row while simultaneously collecting crop from the “off side” side of the same row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: AG-Right Enterprises
    Inventors: Marty D. Youman, Kevin M. Caine, Franklin P. Orlando
  • Publication number: 20040187466
    Abstract: A produce harvesting and coring apparatus and method, which facilitates the harvesting and coring of produce in a field setting. In a preferred embodiment, a plurality of coring devices having automated coring elements are affixed to a side portion of an elongated harvesting apparatus, between work tables. A clean and core operator may then take an item of harvested produce and core it using the coring device, before placing the cored item of produce onto the elongated harvesting apparatus. The coring device preferably operates by placing an item of produce in a basket and moving the basket (with the produce therein) in a downward direction, permitting the cutting element to penetrate and remove the core of the item of produce.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2003
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Jose Luis Garcia,, Carlos Alonzo
  • Publication number: 20040187467
    Abstract: A produce harvesting and coring apparatus and method, which facilitates the harvesting and coring of produce in a field setting. In a preferred embodiment, a plurality of coring devices having automated coring elements are affixed to a side portion of an elongated harvesting apparatus, between work tables. A clean and core operator may then take an item of harvested produce and core it using the coring device, before placing the cored item of produce onto the elongated harvesting apparatus. The coring device preferably operates by placing an item of produce in a basket and moving the basket (with the produce therein) toward a rotating cutting element, permitting the cutting element to penetrate and remove the core of the item of produce.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Jose Luis Garcia, Carlos Alonzo, Frank J. Maconachy
  • Publication number: 20040163375
    Abstract: A fruit harvester includes a vehicle, a boom having a proximal end carried by the vehicle, a shaker head connected to a distal end of the boom for vibrating a tree trunk to shake fruit therefrom, and a fruit deflector comprising upper and lower portions connected together and cooperatively defining a fruit collecting surface for catching fruit shaken from the tree. The fruit deflector is pivotable between operating and retracted positions. The fruit deflector, when in the operating position, preferably has the lower portion adjacent the shaker head. Conversely, the fruit deflector, when in the retracted position, may have the lower portion being pivoted upward and away from the shaker head to facilitate access thereto.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Publication date: August 26, 2004
    Applicant: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: 6779327
    Abstract: A seed harvester pod and method are provided for harvesting seeds from the cones of a live, free—standing, coniferous tree. The pod comprises an open-sided conical frame, open at the top and bottom, supporting a permeable side wall, which may be netting. The netting is operative to allow penetration of sunlight, air and rain. However it will prevent the passage therethrough of airborne seeds released by the cones of the tree. The retained seeds deflect off the netting and drop into an interior, open-topped, annular trough supported by the frame at its base. The seeds are intercepted and collected by the trough. The pod can be lowered by a helicopter line onto the conical upper end of the tree, prior to cone maturation. After the cones have opened and the seeds have matured, released and become airborne, they are contained by the netting, drop and collect in the trough. The harvester is then later retrieved from the tree and the seeds are recovered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Inventors: Fred Prufer, Erik Bergvinson
  • Patent number: 6769238
    Abstract: Removable universal tool-holder for mounting on a straddling vineyard tractor for agricultural work in tree or shrub plantations includes a main coupling chassis constructed so that it can be mounted, in a removable manner, on a straddling vineyard tractor; two secondary coupling chassis, each provided with a universal three-point hitch system; mechanisms connecting each secondary coupling chassis to the main coupling chassis; and mechanisms that make it possible to move each secondary coupling chassis in a vertical or approximately vertical plane and, preferably, in a horizontal or approximately horizontal plane. It is understood that the universal tool-holder can support machines constructed to accomplish cultivation or treatment work such as: hoeing, mowing, plowing, harrowing, spraying, thinning out leaves, pruning, lopping, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: Pellenc, S.A.
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Robert Delran