Fruit Gatherer Patents (Class 56/328.1)
  • Publication number: 20040074218
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting machine (1) comprises a movable frame (2) and a harvesting assembly (5) for detaching crop material, comprising fruit and foliage from trees, shrubs and the like standing on a field. A conveyor (20) receives the detached fruit and foliage, together with juice from said fruit, and transports the same to a container (9). A stationary screen (60) is installed above the conveyor (20) for retaining thereon solid fruit portions and for allowing passage therethrough of said juice. A cleaning means (27) is provided above the is screen (60) for separating said foliage from said detached fruit. The conveyor (20) is provided with outwardly extending fingers (74) extending through the screen (20) for engaging and moving said solid fruit portions to said container (9).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 20, 2003
    Publication date: April 22, 2004
    Inventor: Jean Camille Merant
  • Patent number: 6691500
    Abstract: A vibratory shaker for mounting on a crop harvester framework for removing crops from vines, bushes, and trees has a crop foliage engaging brush that is driven directly about a brush rotation axis by a brush driving motor. The crop foliage engaging brush and the brush driving motor are supported for rotation on the crop harvester framework. The power for driving the brush driving motor is controlled to provide oscillatory motion subject to operator controlled frequency, amplitude and oscillatory wave shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: AG-Right Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Franklin P. Orlando
  • Publication number: 20030213221
    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: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2002
    Publication date: November 20, 2003
    Inventors: Marty D. Youman, Kevin M. Caine, Franklin P. Orlando
  • Publication number: 20030213222
    Abstract: An apparatus for harvesting the seed of native plant species with a cam mechanism that increases the zone of controlled brushing from a point of contact between the rotating brushes and combs to a four-inch span over which the rotating combs remain perpendicular to the surface of the brush while following an arc path nearly concentric to that of the brush shaft. The comb assembly consists of a belt stretched around a plurality of wheels and evenly spaced combs attached to the belt by a plurality of bars. The comb assembly pivots so that the distance between the rotating combs and rotating brushes can be adjusted to achieve maximum yield for a particular species. A method for harvesting native seeds using the harvester with the cam mechanism and adjustable comb assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2003
    Publication date: November 20, 2003
    Applicant: Arbuckle Ranch, Inc.
    Inventors: Lee Arbuckle, William E. Larsen, Brian W. Sindelar, Brad W. Wright, Stephen M. Sanford
  • Patent number: 6634162
    Abstract: The simultaneous processing of multiple rows of plants, especially trellised rows. Apparatus is provided to process two adjacent rows, using a conventional tractor with narrow gauge front wheels, with rear wheels on opposite sides of the two rows with a larger gauge. The spacing apart of the rear wheels is adjustable. The two processing apparati can be used simultaneously or selectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Inventor: Matt Andros
  • Publication number: 20030188522
    Abstract: A seed pod harvesting apparatus for attachment to a harvester to assist in the bunching and lifting of a plant for harvesting of root crops like peanuts. The seed pod harvesting apparatus having at least one pair of horizontally positioned snouts mounted to a frame in a spaced relationship, the snouts counter-rotate such that as a row of seed pod plants pass between the pair of snouts, the snouts assist in bunching and lifting of the seed pod plants as the harvester travels forward. The snouts are cone-shaped having a nose of the snout which is forward facing. The seed pod harvesting apparatus also including a digging component positioned between the pair of snouts for grasping the plant portion of the seed pod plant as the seed pod plant passes between the pair of snouts and pulling the plant from the ground.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2003
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventor: Clell Robinson
  • Patent number: 6624363
    Abstract: An improved gondola assembly for receiving harvested crops in the field from a crop harvester has a lightweight molded drop in tank held in place by a tank framework on the gondola assembly. The drop in tank lowers the gondola center of gravity as it replaces stainless steel or painted mild steel tanks and requires no periodic maintenance. A built in scale for continuous in the field monitoring of the weight of received harvested crop is constructed to be viewable by a tow tractor operator whether towed from one end of the gondola or the other. The towable gondola obtains power for operation of a pair of tank framework lift cylinders from the tow tractor so that the tank is movable between an elevated dump position and a lowered crop collection position. The gondola has a reversible towing tongue for towing in either direction so it may be configured to be towed on either side of a crop harvester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Inventors: Franklin P. Orlando, Phillip Ray Scott
  • Patent number: 6619022
    Abstract: An article retrieving device for gathering and storing nuts that allows the user to maintain an erect posture during use, comprises a retaining element and a housing. The retaining element is adapted to retrieve nuts from the ground and includes a plurality of resilient pieces arranged in rows on a sleeve. The retrieved nuts are stored in the housing and dispensed from the housing via a dispensing opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Inventor: Benny Kay Edwards
  • Patent number: 6609359
    Abstract: An olive harvester has a nonrotatable outer cap, a rotatable inner cap which is driven by compressed air supplied to the outer cap and which generates a swirl through the olive tree below the inner cap which dislodges the olives so that they can be collected in a skirt which is fixed to the outer cap and surrounds the tree. A flexible collection pipe or sleeve at the bottom of the skirt permits the discharge of the olives to the exterior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Inventor: Miguel Pelagio Teixeira da Costa
  • Patent number: 6594982
    Abstract: A leaf stripper includes several nozzles mounted at the end of branch pipes that are radially integral with a rotary compressed gas dispenser. The nozzles move along concentric circles with different radii behind a vegetation deflector. The deflector includes gas jet circulating and controlling structures such as circular slots with radii corresponding to that of the circumferences described by the nozzles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Etablissements Collard SA, Societe Anonyme a directoire et conseil de surveillance
    Inventor: Michel Collard
  • Patent number: 6557335
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester and harvesting method for harvesting crops grown on an overhead trellis system including a harvester frame having a top portion and opposing sides forming an open frame to allow crop bins or gondolas to pass under the top portion and through the harvester so that the harvester can continuously harvest an entire row of crops. The top portion of the harvester has crop separating mechanisms to dislodge the crop from the overhead plant canopy. The crop falls downward onto a conveyor belt assembly that transports the crop to the front of the harvester where it is deposited onto a pair of cross conveyor belts that conveys it to a central opening for depositing into the bin. A fan is utilized to blow air across the crop material to separate any plant debris from the crop prior to depositing the crop into the bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Premier Mechanical Orchard Services, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Vernal A. Amaro, John Paboojian, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20030070409
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for picking and collecting fruit from fruit trees comprising a fruit picking assembly including a water cannon to selectively impact fruit to be picked with a water slug to detach the fruit from the fruit tree and a fruit collecting assembly disposed beneath the fruit picking assembly to catch the fruit detatched from the fruit tree.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Publication date: April 17, 2003
    Inventor: John W. Adams
  • Publication number: 20020170282
    Abstract: An article retrieving device for gathering and storing nuts that allows the user to maintain an erect posture during use, comprises a retaining element and a housing. The retaining element is adapted to retrieve nuts from the ground and includes a plurality of resilient pieces arranged in rows on a sleeve. The retrieved nuts are stored in the housing and dispensed from the housing via a dispensing opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2001
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Inventor: Benny Kay Edwards
  • Patent number: 6474055
    Abstract: A method for connecting a fruit or nut tree to a mechanical shaker so that the shaking force is applied to the heartwood of the tree rather than to the bark and living cambium tissue of the tree, thus preventing or limiting injury to the tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Inventors: Thomas E. Ferrari, Don Evans
  • Patent number: 6463725
    Abstract: A harvester for gathering product from one or more plants comprises a drive mechanism, a retractable conveyor mounted to and extending from the drive mechanism towards the plant, and a sealing arrangement mounted at a distal end of the retractable arm. The sealing arrangement includes a sealing member and sensor configured to engage the plants and provide input to the retractable conveyor so as to maintain a predetermined distance between the distal end of the retractable arm and the second object. As a result, a seal is formed and maintained between the first object and the second object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventor: Richard A. Briesemeister
  • Patent number: 6460249
    Abstract: A method of making a nut harvester in which a plurality of wires are formed into a generally oval and cylindrically shaped chamber having flattened end portions. The shape of the chamber is created by forming the ends of wires into a circular configuration, then clamping the ends of the wires between inner and outer sleeves, pressing the wires and creating a deformation near the ends, then inserting a threaded bolt through the inner sleeve and placing a nut on the end of the bolt within said chamber. Tightening the nut on the bolt deforms the wires further to create substantially flat end portions of the chamber and further bowing the central portion of the wires to enlarge the chamber. The chamber is attached to a handle by a bail to provide a nut harvester having a rolling basket chamber that receives the nuts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Inventor: Cecil Holt, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6442920
    Abstract: An apparatus for the mechanical harvesting of tree fruits has been designed which has the capability of providing fruit suitable for the fresh market. The harvester features an impactor for dislodging fruit from a tree limb, a unique positioning system, a collecting conveyor utilizing energy-absorbing materials for minimizing fruit damage due to the impact of falling fruit, a transport conveyor which moves the harvested fruit to a revolving collecting bin, and bin-filling mechanisms which gently deposit harvested fruit in the collecting bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Donald L. Peterson, Scott D. Wolford
  • Patent number: 6430910
    Abstract: A versatile fruit harvesting machine having the ability to be transformed between an extremely transportable configuration having a reasonable elevational height and an extremely high operational configuration capable of harvesting fruit from the highest regions of fruit trees. The harvesting machine also has the ability to provide for an exceptional range of penetration of the fruit tree during a harvesting cycle to ensure optimum removal of fruit from the tree. Separate regions of picking arms are utilized wherein an upper region of arms is folded down amongst the lower region of arms to provide for the elevation change between a transport configuration and an operational configuration. At least two distinct displacement systems cooperate to provide for the exceptional extension of the array of arms with a first displacement transferring both the array of arms as will as a second displacement system while a further displacement of the array of arms by the second displacement system occurs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Inventor: William S Crunkelton
  • Patent number: 6425233
    Abstract: A fruit removal assembly forming part of a mobile fruit harvester has a single motor for orbiting two pairs of oppositely disposed panels to which are mounted a plurality of longitudinally extending fingers which penetrate a fruit tree canopy and dislodge fruit. The motor is coupled to the panels by a mechanical drive and thereby provides for synchronized simultaneous movement of the panels. The panels are coupled to a structural frame for supporting the panels and tethers fixed to an anchor positioned to space the tethers from the structural frame at an intermediate portion between the panels and the structural frame are provided to align the panels and mitigate the occurrence of collisions between orbiting panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Inventor: John Hosking
  • Patent number: 6415592
    Abstract: A harvester system for separating ripe fruit such as tomatoes from harvested plants includes first and second sorters for detecting and sorting loose fruit and accepting or rejecting the loose fruit on the basis of the detected color and a transport conveyor for recycling rejected loose fruit from the second sorter back through the first sorter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: California Tomato Machinery, LLC
    Inventor: Milton Borchard
  • Patent number: 6405516
    Abstract: A vibratory shaker for mounting on a crop harvester framework for removing crops from vines, bushes, and trees has a crop foliage engaging brush that is driven directly about a brush rotation axis by a brush driving motor. The crop foliage engaging brush and the brush driving motor are supported for rotation on the crop harvester framework. The power for driving the brush driving motor is controlled to provide oscillatory motion subject to operator controlled frequency, amplitude and oscillatory wave shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Inventor: Franklin P. Orlando
  • Publication number: 20020069633
    Abstract: Harvesting methods and apparatus provide endless movable arrays of finger members for contacting and strippingly lifting fruits from plants in growing fields with each of the arrays being generally upstanding, longitudinally elongated and having at least a portion which is substantially planar along which said finger members endlessly move upwardly while strippingly lifting said fruits from the plants as said apparatus travels through the growing field
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Inventors: Joseph Yoder, Matthew Moyer
  • Patent number: 6378282
    Abstract: A harvesting apparatus for dislodging produce from trees comprising a support structure, a boom vertically placed where a first end is connected to the support structure, a positioning apparatus to position a second end of the boom radially from the first end, horizontal posts connected to the boom wherein a first post is positioned above a second post, crank arm rotatably connected between the horizontal posts along an axis where the crank arm has a plurality of elbows, one of a plurality of spools rotatably attached to the crank arm at each respective elbow whereby each spool is free to rotate axially, a plurality of wands axialy attached to each spool and spaced around each spool, and a rotating apparatus for rotating the crank arm about its axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Inventor: James P. Carlton
  • Publication number: 20020040571
    Abstract: A harvester incorporating at least one force balanced shaker vibratory brush as the harvesting apparatus uses a sensing system connected to a plurality of spring feelers carried on a shaft to generate a torque value responsive to the location of the shape and position of a tree. The feeler springs may be of differing lengths to assist in tuning the harvester. Apparatus and a method for mounting the shaker head on the vehicle as well as system of steering the harvester are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2001
    Publication date: April 11, 2002
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Kevin M. Caine, Marty D. Youman
  • Patent number: 6360518
    Abstract: A harvester incorporating at least one force balanced shaker vibratory brush as the harvesting apparatus uses a sensing system connected to a plurality of spring feelers carried on a shaft to generate a torque value responsive to the location of the shape and position of a tree. The feeler springs may be of differing lengths to assist in tuning the harvester. Apparatus and a method for mounting the shaker head on the vehicle as well as system of steering the harvester are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Kevin M. Caine, Marty D. Youman
  • Publication number: 20020026780
    Abstract: A vibratory shaker for mounting on a crop harvester framework for removing crops from vines, bushes, and trees has a crop foliage engaging brush that is driven directly about a brush rotation axis by a brush driving motor. The crop foliage engaging brush and the brush driving motor are supported for rotation on the crop harvester framework. The power for driving the brush driving motor is controlled to provide oscillatory motion subject to operator controlled frequency, amplitude and oscillatory wave shape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2001
    Publication date: March 7, 2002
    Inventor: Franklin P. Orlando
  • Patent number: 6338237
    Abstract: It is an object to provide a power driven portable reaper comprising a guard structure for guarding the portable reaper when the portable reaper is to be temporarily put on the ground or during a reaping work. A power driven portable reaper (A) comprises an engine (20) on a base end thereof, a rod member (22) which is elongated forward from a tip side of the engine(20), an impact force generating unit (24) for converting rotation into reciprocation, and a cutting blade (26) provided in a tipmost portion thereof, a plurality of pipes (1A, 1B, 1C) are provided around the engine (20) so as to surround an outer circumference of the engine (20) in a direction from a tip of the engine (20) to a base end of the engine (20). A guard member is provided to be protruding outward from the reaper in the vicinity of the input force generating unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2002
    Assignee: Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yoshiro Yamane, Kazuhiko Takemoto, Tadao Yashirodai
  • Publication number: 20010047643
    Abstract: In a tree shaking apparatus a pad positionable between the trunk of a tree to be shaken, and the apparatus itself, includes a pair of end sections. Each end section defines a bore extending therethrough for receiving a post extending from the apparatus, thereby mounting the pad on the apparatus. A resilient polymeric web extends between the end sections and defines a first surface for engaging the trunk of a tree to be shaken.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 1999
    Publication date: December 6, 2001
    Inventor: RICHARD L. PALINKAS
  • Patent number: 6298645
    Abstract: A universal fruit-picking tool including a cage of a generally elliptical spheroid shape having a three-dimensional triangular opening in its upper half fitted with four cutters. Each cutter has a V-shaped gathering and cutting slot of unique design. The cage is supported by a tele-handle. The complex structure of the cage and cutters allows the new device to easily pick and, at the same time, safely catch the fruits, whatever the position of the tele-handle and the opening, which turn arbitrarily in three-dimensional coordination as the user desires. The general structure of the device is rigid, it does not dangle, it is aerodynamically shaped and agile and therefore it is possible to direct and push the device into the crown of fruit trees among close twigs, small branches and leaves in order to pick fruits easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Inventor: Pham Xuan Hai
  • Publication number: 20010018822
    Abstract: A harvester push tool has a concave body portion with broad and flat fingers extending therefrom to facilitate the harvesting of grounded nuts or other items. Grounded nuts or fruit are those that have either naturally fallen to the ground or are on the ground as a result of mechanically shaking the tree during the harvesting process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2000
    Publication date: September 6, 2001
    Inventor: Gerald Samuel Blyth
  • Patent number: 6263652
    Abstract: A harvesting of fruit from trees utilizing a harvesting machine which continuously advances along the row is explained. The harvesting machine utilizes a canopy penetration, fruit engagement and pressure severing method of mechanical harvesting. A plurality of arm members are held by an arm housing in either a single vertically disposed row or in a plurality of vertically disposed rows. During a harvesting procedure the arm housing undergoes a series of motions including rearward and forward on the harvesting machine as well as outward and inward therefrom. These motions may be controlled in an endless number of combinations to produce a desired harvesting action. One such harvesting action involves isolating to eliminate influence of the forward motion of the harvesting machine from the arm members during an extension motion and a retraction motion into and out of the canopy of the tree so that the arm members may enter the canopy with minimal resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Inventor: Stephen Harold Wilkinson
  • Publication number: 20010002682
    Abstract: The pepper harvester has a harvesting head, a primary conveyor, a shredder, cleaning and separating assemblies, a pepper sizer, a sorting bed and a discharge conveyor. The shredder is mounted above the primary elevator. First and second side plates of the shredder rotatably support three drums for rotation about parallel horizontal axes. The drums have a plurality of radially extending posts. The posts on a first drum project in between the posts on a second drum. The posts on a third drum project between the posts on the second drum. The drums are driven so that the first drum lifts crop material including some pepper from the conveyor. This crop material passes between the first and second drums, between the second and third drums and back to the conveyor. The posts on the drums travel at different speeds and shred cop material other than peppers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2001
    Publication date: June 7, 2001
    Inventor: Gregory M. Boese
  • Patent number: 6178730
    Abstract: A fruit harvester includes a single shaker head having multiple, independently operable, shaker head segments freely rotatable about an axis of the head and moveable in a to and fro linear displacement. Each head segment includes a shaft and multiple finger elements radially extending from the shaft for penetrating fruit bearing branches of a tree. A shaker provides the radially linear displacement of the shaker head segment to and from the axis of the single shaker head. Adjacent shaker head segments are displaced in parallel and opposing directions for providing an oscillating movement to the finger elements, and thus a balance and stability to the shaker head during shaking movement of the tree branches. The shaker head is operable with a mobile carrier. A conveyor, also carried by the mobile carrier, is independently operable for receiving fruit falling from the tree and delivering the fruit onto a hauler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2001
    Inventor: Thomas R. Visser