Catchers Patents (Class 56/329)
  • Patent number: 11044850
    Abstract: A scale and a fruit collector with connected rows of scales is provided. The rows of scales extending between an intake and an outlet of the collector parallel to a median axis of the collector, scales including respectively a succession of scales with overlap, mounted as pivots on a support with a return to a resting position, each scale presenting a longitudinal median scale axis extending from the proximal to distal end of the scale and forming, in the resting position, an acute angle of aperture with the median axis, relative to the collector intake, and in which each scale presents a capability to pivot relative to the support, between the resting position and at least one bent-back position towards the outlet of the collector, reducing the angle of aperture. At least one hindrance limits an amplitude of divergent displacement, respectively between two successive scales of a row of scales.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Inventor: Robert Delran
  • Patent number: 10094416
    Abstract: A pivot pin assembly for a tree shaker pivotally attaches the clamping arm to the stationary arm. Each end of the cylindrical pivot pin extends outside of a cylindrical bore of the clamping arm. A longitudinal load member extends through an aperture in the stationary arm and into an aperture in the cylindrical pivot pin. An axial load may be applied to the longitudinal load member which compresses a plate of the stationary arm against the cylindrical pivot pin, but without compressing the stationary arm against the clamping arm. This configuration allows substantial torque to be applied to the longitudinal load member, which reduces play between the stationary arm and the clamping arm without inhibiting the free rotation of the clamping arm. Application of this torque eliminates radial and vibratory movement in the shaker head, which otherwise cause damage to the components of the shaker head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Inventor: David Payne
  • Patent number: 9992933
    Abstract: In a shaker head for a tree shaker, a hydraulically actuated ram is mounted between the clamping arm and frame of the shaker head with a pin assembly which extends into a spherical bearing disposed within an aperture of the shaker head. The spherical bearing allows a certain amount of misalignment and provides a through-hardened and lubricated wear point which prevents or reduces structural failure in the shaker head components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Inventor: David Payne
  • Patent number: 9894839
    Abstract: An apparatus for harvesting small fruit detached from fruit trees or bushes has a tarpaulin, a winding shaft fastened to a proximal end of the tarpaulin, a first bearing structure supporting the winding shaft, a rotary drive motor coupled to the winding shaft, at least one band having bending and shape memory, a winding drum connected to one end of the band, and a second bearing structure supporting the winding drum. The band has an end connected to the distal end of the tarpaulin. A distal end of the band pushes the distal end of the tarpaulin so as to move the tarpaulin away from the winding shaft so as to deploy the tarpaulin above the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: PELLENC (SOCIETE ANONYME)
    Inventor: Roger Pellenc
  • Patent number: 9894846
    Abstract: A device for staking a tree into the earth has a ring suitable for extending around the trunk of the tree. A plurality of brackets are connected to the ring. The plurality of brackets have aperture formed therethrough suitable for receipt of stakes, which secure the ring to the earth. A support is connected to the ring and extends upwardly therefrom. A collar is connected to the support and positioned in spaced relation to the ring. The collar also has a diameter suitable for extending around the trunk of the tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Inventor: Jeannette Kathleen Young
  • Patent number: 9826681
    Abstract: An expansion device for a bulk goods container includes a frame, a plurality of wall panels that are connected to the frame in an articulated manner to pivot outwardly such that a pivoted-out position delimit an interior space of the expansion device, connecting elements that are connected in an articulated manner to the wall panels at two edges of the connecting elements and first expansion elements that are connected in an articulated manner to an upper edge of the wall panels and are configured to pivot between a position resting against the wall panels and a position that extends the wall panels. The position extending the wall panels, flexible membrane elements are tensioned between the first expansion elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: CLAAS Selbstfahrende Erntemaschinen GmbH
    Inventors: Ulrich Claes, Thomas Roewekamp
  • Patent number: 9668416
    Abstract: A scale for a collecting pass-through table used in a small fruit harvesting machine has a plate and a stop rim affixed to the plate and extending upwardly above an upper face of the plate. The stop rim has a flexible lip that is elastically deformable. The stop rim extends in a direction outwardly of a free distal end of the plate. The stop rim has height that prevents the small fruit from moving beyond the free distal end of the plate. The stop rim has a forward end portion that is stiff. The stop rim is removably fastened to the plate at the free distal end thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: PELLENC (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland
  • Patent number: 9526207
    Abstract: A tree fruit or nut harvesting apparatus includes first and second sheets. A pair of clamps is provided for each tree and traps overlapped side edges of the first and second sheets adjacent an upper end of a tree trunk. Opposite side edges of the first and second sheets are disposed at a downward and outward acute angle to the tree trunk to form the first and second sheets in an inverted V-shape. The side edges of the first and second sheets opposite from the tree trunk form collection trays. Each clamp may be coupled by a tape to tree branches. An intermediate support using the first and second overlapped clamps members is supported by tapes or ties to tree branches or on a ground mounted stake supporting an intermediate location of the first and second sheets between two adjacent trees.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Inventor: Bernard Thelen
  • Patent number: 9151076
    Abstract: A device for the cleanup of dirt or soil removed when forming a hole in the earth including a base member, a first side member attached to a first side of the base member, a second side member attached to a second side of the base member, an aperture positioned within the base member, wherein the first side member is movable to an upright position and the second side member is movable to an upright position for directing dirt or soil off of the base member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Inventors: Eric Gore, Nicholas George
  • Patent number: 9051753
    Abstract: A tree mounted shelter assembly secures a shelter to a tree to prevent damage to an object under the tree due to material falling from the tree. The assembly includes a tarp having an interior edge and an exterior edge. The interior edge defines an aperture through the tarp configured for encircling a trunk of a tree. Each of a plurality of lines has a first end coupled to the tarp and a second end configured for coupling to the tree wherein the tarp is suspended under limbs of the tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Inventor: Payman Zamirpour
  • Patent number: 8997446
    Abstract: A decelerator apparatus for mounting at the end of a pneumatic or gravity-fed fruit harvesting or delivery tube. The decelerator comprises a housing with a moving decelerator body aligned with a fruit-receiving inlet connected to the delivery tube. The decelerator body, for example a padded rotating wheel, moves at a speed slower than the speed at which the fruit is delivered into the housing, includes multiple depressions or indentations for receiving and separating fruit, 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: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC
    Inventors: Charles Dietrich, Michael Rasch, Philip A. Brown
  • Publication number: 20150020491
    Abstract: A tree fruit or nut harvesting apparatus includes first and second sheets. A pair of clamps are provided for each tree and trap overlapped side edges of the first and second sheets adjacent an upper end of a tree trunk. Opposite side edges of the first and second sheets are disposed at a downward and outward acute angle to the tree trunk to form the first and second sheets in an inverted V-shape. The oppose side edges of the first and second sheets form a collection tray. The clamps may be coupled by a tape to tree branches. An intermediate support using the first and second overlapped clamps members is supported by or tapes ties to tree branches on a ground mounted stake supporting an intermediate location of the first and second sheets between two adjacent trees.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2014
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventor: Bernard Thelen
  • Publication number: 20140250853
    Abstract: A mechanical berry harvester and a method for harvesting berries in the field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a framework, collectors, spring elements, pulleys and belts. The collectors are configured to collect berries fallen from branches of the berry bush. Each spring element is connected to the framework and a collector. Each pulley is connected to a spring element and a collector. Each belt has an inner face and an outer face, and the inner faces of the belts are in contact with the pulleys. When the trunk of a berry bush comes in contact with a portion of the adjacent belts, the spring element(s) connected to the portions of the adjacent belts in contact with the trunk are each configured to independently compress and create a gap between the adjacent belts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Terry YOUNG, Stephen JENS, Art CASTRO, Robert STOUDT
  • Publication number: 20130269307
    Abstract: A scale for a traversable collecting table for machines for harvesting small fruits is disclosed. The scale has an upper face and a lower face arranged between a fixing end or proximal end and a free end or distal end provided with a stop rim rising above the plane containing the upper surface. The scale is characterised in that said stop rim consists of a flexible lip having an elastic deformation capacity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: PELLENC (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland
  • Publication number: 20130091821
    Abstract: A decelerator apparatus for mounting at the end of a pneumatic or gravity-fed fruit harvesting or delivery tube. The decelerator comprises a housing with a moving decelerator body aligned with a fruit-receiving inlet connected to the delivery tube. The decelerator body, for example a padded rotating wheel, moves at a speed slower than the speed at which the fruit is delivered into the housing, includes multiple depressions or indentations for receiving and separating fruit, 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: March 1, 2012
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Inventors: Charles Dietrich, Michael Rasch, Philip Brown
  • Patent number: 8230812
    Abstract: An apparatus to prevent a pet climbing up a Christmas tree includes a screen member having a first predetermined shape and a first predetermined size. The screen member is formed from a pre-selected material. An aperture, having a second predetermined size, is formed through the screen member at a predetermined location for receiving therein a trunk of such Christmas tree. A slit is formed through the screen member beginning at an outer edge thereof and extending to an edge of a perimeter of such aperture to enable placing the screen member around the trunk. There is further a mechanism engageable with each of the screen member and a bottom branch of the Christmas tree for connecting such screen member to such Christmas tree beneath bottom the bottom branches thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Inventor: Nancy A. Ross
  • Patent number: 8151548
    Abstract: A foliage skirt is a device which encircles a trunk of a tree for collecting foliage clippings during trimming and subsequently removed and emptied. The device comprises a circular or ovular format comprising two halves, each provided with a lightweight and flexible plastic frame that conforms around the foliage at ground level and to any adjacent obstructions in the vicinity. Each frame half is covered by a flexible and durable mesh platform. The two halves and conjoined at a first side by a flexible hinge and at an opposing second side by a detachable hinge, thereby allowing the halves to swing open when being placed around the foliage and secured in a closed position. Foliage is trimmed using trimming tools and when completed, the device along with the clippings, are slid away from the foliage and folded upwardly and closed to contain the clippings for transport and disposal to a suitable location or into a container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Inventor: Duane D. Sherry
  • Patent number: 8117814
    Abstract: A crop-catching apparatus for use in a crop harvesting machine includes one or more plate members and one or more fluid conduits. The plate member(s) each have a surface adapted for catching falling crops, a front end and a back end, and a leading edge. The back end(s) are configured to pivotally mount on the crop harvesting machine. The front end(s) are configured to rest at a higher elevation with respect to the pivotally mounted back end(s). The conduit(s) are defined within at least one of the plate member(s) for carrying one or more fluids, and include one or more fluid inlets defined on the at least one of the plate member(s) for receiving the one or more fluids; and one or more fluid outlets defined on the at least one of the plate member(s) running at least partially along the leading edge(s) of the at least one of the plate member(s). The fluid outlet(s) are configured such that the one or more fluids exit therefrom to divert a direction of fall of the crops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Inventors: Rupinder Singh Sidhu, Parminder Cheema
  • Publication number: 20110167778
    Abstract: A crop-catching apparatus for use in a crop harvesting machine is disclosed, including one or more plate members and one or more fluid conduits. The plate member) each have a surface adapted for catching falling crops, a front end and a back end, and a leading edge. The back end(s) are configured to pivotally mount on the crop harvesting machine. The front end(s) are configured to rest at a higher elevation with respect to the pivotally mounted back end(s). The conduit(s) are defined within at least one of the plate member(s) for carrying one or more fluids, and include one or more fluid inlets defined on the at least one of the plate member(s) for receiving the one or more fluids; and one or more fluid outlets defined on the at least one of the plate member(s) running at least partially along the leading edge(s) of the at least one of the plate member(s). The fluid outlet(s) are configured such that the one or more fluids exit therefrom to divert a direction of fall of the crops.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2010
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Inventors: Rupinder Singh Sidhu, Parminder Cheema
  • Patent number: 7703269
    Abstract: A scale or leaf for a berry picking machine and a collector scale assembly including the scale. A freely rotating circular disc on the free end of the scale when attached to a rail of the machine is the most distinctive feature of the comma shaped scale.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: McKibben Mfg., Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey David McKibben, Richard Eugene Mayer, Jr., Skye Joseph Thrasher
  • 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
  • Patent number: 7650740
    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: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: PELLENC Societe Anonyme
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Jean-Marc Gialis
  • Publication number: 20090025357
    Abstract: A tree fruit collection device includes a plurality of individual freestanding supports for arrangement radially extending from a tree trunk. At least one net element is suspended between the supports and secured at a proximal circumference of the net element around the tree trunk. The net element provides a frustoconical surface to catch dropped fruit from the tree. Hook and loop fasteners or similar attachment devices are provided for removably securing the net element to the supports.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2007
    Publication date: January 29, 2009
    Inventor: Vida Parsa
  • Publication number: 20090013594
    Abstract: A lawn care device includes a first generally flat member. A second generally flat member is hingedly connected along a first predetermined side edge thereof to a first predetermined side edge of such first generally flat member. A third generally flat member is hingedly connected along a first predetermined side edge thereof to a second predetermined side edge of such first generally flat member. An aperture is formed closely adjacent to a predetermined top edge of such first generally flat member and disposed therethrough. A first cut out portion is formed along a second predetermined side edge of such second generally flat member for alignment with such aperture. A second cut out portion is formed along a second predetermined side edge of such third generally flat member for alignment with such aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Publication date: January 15, 2009
    Inventor: Jeffery J. Gadomski
  • Publication number: 20080307764
    Abstract: Systems, including apparatus and methods, for harvesting a product with a mobile harvester so as to minimize the amount of product lost during harvesting. The disclosed systems include an array of catcher plates designed to surround a plant to be harvested, in a manner that minimizes the possibility of harvested product dropping through the plates to the ground and thus being lost. These systems may be useful for harvesting a wide variety of products that grow on plants such as trees or bushes, including without limitation berries, fruit, and coffee beans.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2007
    Publication date: December 18, 2008
    Applicant: LITTAU HARVESTER, INC.
    Inventors: Willard Norman Johnson, Daniel Frederick Setniker, Frank Steven Brown
  • Patent number: 7320210
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for use with a fruit-bearing tree, the device being adapted to be mounted to a tree trunk and when mounted the device includes; a catching means which in use has an upper perimeter and an aperture through which a tree trunk passes; a support means having a collar attachable around the tree trunk, a support ring and at least two support members, wherein the support ring is mounted to the catching means at a location spaced inwardly from the upper perimeter, the collar is located above the catching means and the support members extend between the collar and the support ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: Straatmans Holding Company Pty Ltd
    Inventor: Tim Straatmans
  • Patent number: 7117661
    Abstract: A method and a system for collection of harvested tree-fruit having a collection device mounted on a hauled cart. For fruit collection, two arms are extended under the foliage of a tree to spread an apron hung between them, in a fruit receiving position. After harvesting is completed, and the apron contains the harvested fruit, the arms draw the apron away from under the tree, and swing through an arc of a circle to stop in a fruit discharge position, where fruit is discharged by gravity into the open top opening of the cart. Then, the arms are returned back from the discharge position to the fruit receiving position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Dotan Ltd.
    Inventors: David Chiel, Eitan Zehavi
  • Publication number: 20040112033
    Abstract: A device (11) for catching fruit from a fruit-bearing tree. The device (11) has a catching means (10) formed from at least one wall so as to define a catching zone (9). A collecting zone (17) is located within or near a lowermost region of the catching zone (9) so that fruit falling into catching zone (9) is guided by the wall towards the collecting zone (17).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 8, 2003
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Inventor: Tim Straatmans
  • Publication number: 20040112032
    Abstract: A fruit collection apparatus is for collecting fruit as the fruit is shaken from a tree, and may include a vehicle, and a fruit collector carried by the vehicle. The fruit collector may include a collection conveyor with opposing first and second ends and an exterior conveyor surface extending therebetween for collecting fruit as the fruit is harvested from the tree and advancing the fruit to the second end of this conveyor. The fruit collector may also include an intermediate conveyor having opposing first and second ends and an exterior conveyor surface extending therebetween for receiving fruit from the second or upper end of the collection conveyor. The fruit is advanced to the second end of the second conveyor. In addition, the fruit collector may also include a lifting conveyor which may have lower and upper ends and an interior conveyor surface extending therebetween.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Applicant: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel, Michael L. Suter
  • Publication number: 20030233819
    Abstract: When searching for a tool to pick fruit from my back yard grapefruit tree I was disappointed to find that the only ones available either pulled the fruit from the tree removing the stem from the fruit in the process, or cut the stem and let the fruit fall on the ground. My fruit picker is designed to both cut the stem from the branch leaving it attached to the fruit and catch the fruit in a basket. It is also designed with a two piece handle and rope assembly making it easy to use and light weight.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Publication date: December 25, 2003
    Inventor: Albert Gerald Hamel
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20020020161
    Abstract: A manual fruit harvesting tool having a handle which carries a head. The head has a U-shaped member which is generally perpendicular to the handle. The U-shaped member has a long arm and a shorter arm connected by a bight. The user manipulates the head directing the fruit stem into the bight where the fruit may be severed by applying a sharp downward jerk motion to the pole.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Publication date: February 21, 2002
    Inventor: Gilbert Simmons
  • Patent number: 6282878
    Abstract: A produce catcher is provided that includes a support frame having a support member, a first extending arm and a second extending arm. The first extending arm is substantially parallel to and extendible from the support member, and the second extending arm is substantially parallel to and extendible from the support member. The first extending arm extends in a direction substantially opposite from the extension of the first extending member. A first tarp pole pivotally attaches to the first extending member and a second tarp pole is affixed to the support member. A third tarp pole pivotally attaches to the second extending member, and a fourth tarp pole is also affixed to the support member. The second tarp pole and the fourth tarp pole are spaced apart from one another at a distance sufficient to allow the positioning of a trunk of a tree between the second tarp pole and the fourth tarp pole. A first tarp is adapted to be suspended between the first tarp pole and the second tarp pole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Orchard-Rite Ltd., Inc.
    Inventor: Daryl G. Hill
  • Patent number: 6052981
    Abstract: An extendable arm has a first arm portion, a second arm portion extendable and retractable relative to the first arm portion to extend and contract the arm, and a flexible elongated pulling element having opposite ends connected to the second arm portion and passing around a rotatable spool secured in position on the first arm portion. Rotation of the spool causes the second arm portion to extend or retract relative to the first arm portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Inventor: Osvaldo Pavone
  • Patent number: 6044638
    Abstract: A universal hand held tool for harvesting fruit and nuts. Harvesting is accomplished by a plurality of specially shaped spring wire tines. Tines are covered with plastic to minimize fruit and tree damage. Passing through a guide bracket secured to a handle, tines are held by a retainer that slides along the handle. Moving the retainer along the handle adjusts the tine spacing to accommodate different sizes and shapes of fruit. Retainer can be locked in any of a number of selected positions. Extension handles of various or adjustable length can be attached to harvest the crop safely from the ground. Fruit, such as olives that will be used to make olive oil, can be stripped from the branches using a raking motion into a tarp or container on the ground. To harvest for edible fruit without allowing it to fall to the ground a removable container is easily attached under the tines to capture the fruit. The container is made from a pliable material with a resilient aperture to reduce bruising or damage to the fruit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Inventor: William M. Young
  • Patent number: 6000203
    Abstract: A blueberry harvester comprising a platform mountable behind an agricultural tractor. The platform has a post near the harvesting side thereof with a jib-boom crane mounted on that post. There is also provided a blueberry picking head having riggings connected to the jib-boom crane and a pair of conveyors connected to the picking head for conveying the blueberries withdrawn from blueberry plants, from the picking head to a region over the platform. A hinged frame is pivotally mounted on the post, and connected to the conveyors for supporting the conveyors. The hinged frame with the conveyors supported thereon are movable from a harvesting position alongside the harvesting side of the tractor to a stowed position over the platform near the harvesting side. The jib-boom crane is movable with the picking head suspended thereto from a position along the harvesting side of the tractor, to a space over the platform between the stowed position of the conveyors and the harvested side of the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Inventors: Lloyd H. Weatherbee, Brian Weatherbee
  • Patent number: 5966915
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting machine is provided which may mechanically harvest fruit from fruit trees. Means are provided for a transport assembly to carry an arm housing member which has installed thereon a plurality of arms. The arm housing member provides for repetitive displacement of the arms into and out of a canopy of the fruit trees. Means are provided for arms to deflect during insertion and withdrawal relative to the arm housing member in the event that the respective arm encounters a deflecting obstruction. Means are provided for arms to yield during insertion relative to the arm housing member in the event that the respective arm encounters an impacting obstruction. These actions, both the deflecting and the yielding, act to prevent damage to either the fruit tree or the machine. A plurality of picking fingers, each having unique engaging qualities, extend from each arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventor: William S. Crunkelton
  • Patent number: 5956933
    Abstract: An apparatus for harvesting food from plants comprising a housing with drive mechanisms. Such mechanisms are provided with at least one shaft rotatable with respect to the housing about a first axis, each shaft having a plurality of fingers mounted thereon. Further provided are components for linearly reciprocating each shaft along a second axis generally perpendicular with respect to the first axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Inventor: Jimmy C. Heard
  • Patent number: 5946896
    Abstract: A fruit harvester comprising a plurality of oscillating fruit removal heads to selectively engage and vibrate the periphery of selected fruit-bearing sections of a fruit tree canopy thereby causing the fruit to break away from the fruit tree canopy wherein the oscillating fruit removal heads are pivotally coupled to an articulated telescoping boom mounted on a self propelled chassis including a plurality of fruit collection aprons and an internal fruit storage bin such that manipulation of the articulated telescoping boom permits engagement of isolated areas of the outer peripheral fruit-bearing sections of the fruit tree canopy by the oscillating fruit removal heads, each oscillating fruit removal head comprising a plurality of agitation wands rotatably and eccentrically coupled to a drive shaft of a motor such that rotation of the drive shaft is translated into lateral orbital motion of the oscillating fruit removal heads and a corresponding periodic motion of the isolated area of the peripheral fruit-beari
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Inventor: Michael Allen Daniels
  • Patent number: 5904034
    Abstract: A harvester for tree borne fruit is disclosed wherein a power driven vehicle is provided for following a course adjacent and parallel to a row of fruit trees. The vehicle carries a vibratory brush having tines for engaging and shaking the tree's fruit bearing branches. The brush is yieldably held in engagement with the fruit bearing branches and is adjustable in three aspects, elevation, tilt angle and lateral position, to assume an optimum position relative to the row of trees. A brake is provided to control a net rotation speed of the vibratory brush within the branches. A resilient screen deflects randomly projected harvested fruit toward a harvested fruit catch apparatus. The tines are covered with an optimally designed resilient cover for reducing cullage in the harvested fruit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Assignee: AG-Right Enterprises
    Inventors: Marty Dean Youman, Phillip Ray Scott, Dennis R. Schultz
  • Patent number: 5875625
    Abstract: A fruit catcher has a trolley with ground-engaging wheels to enable the catcher to be moved over the ground, and a pair of side-by-side catcher portions pivotally mounted on the trolley for lateral opening and closing movement to enable the trolley to be moved, when the catcher portions are in a laterally opened position, to position the catcher portions on opposite sides of a tree, whereby the catcher portions can subsequently be pivoted to a closed position in which the catcher portions surround the tree. Each catcher portion has a series of radial arms which are extendable and contractible and which carry a flexible catcher sheet portion. Each catcher portion also has an actuator connected to each radial arm thereof for extending and contracting the arms simultaneously and, when the arms are extended, the flexible sheet portions provide an annular catcher array surrounding the tree for catching fruit falling therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Inventor: Osvaldo Pavone
  • Patent number: 5848522
    Abstract: A product and method for increasing the yield of quality fruits and vegetables by gathering fallen produce above the ground in a simply constructed enclosure thereby reducing the incidence of spoilage. A plurality of arms having holes therein and hooks, a stake and a step as parts thereof, said stakes being forced into the earth surrounding the plant by stepping on said step. A net is hooked onto the arms in an imaginary frustoconical shape so that fallen fruit can be held in place where fallen and can be urged to the stem of the plant where a shield encircling the plant surrounds the stem for collecting the fallen produce. Tying means threaded into the holes of the arms encircles the net to provide support therefor and to ensure that all fallen fruit is gathered on the shield for subsequent collection. A method for the assembly of the fruit and vegetable saver is presented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: Andrew G. Coviello, Sr.
    Inventor: Andrew Gary Coviello, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5744212
    Abstract: The present invention involves an apparatus and method for gathering and removing yard waste. The apparatus includes two parts, a laminar sheet and a plurality of spikes. The laminar sheet is placed on the ground and secured using the spikes. A number of apertures pierce the sheet to allow oxygen to aspirate the plantlife below and to allow water from above to pass through. Clear plastic is preferably used to allow sunlight to reach the plantlife, but other colors and materials are possible if so desired. After leaves, tree limbs, and other yard waste have accumulated on the sheet, the spikes may be removed from the ground and the sheet and waste may be bundled together and discarded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Inventor: Robert J. Meeks
  • Patent number: 5647194
    Abstract: A harvester for harvesting grapes or other fruits from plants. The harvester uses elastomer spring to support the closure wings of the harvester. The elastomeric spring may be a block of elastomeric material connecting a closure plate to the frame of the harvester. The elastomeric spring allows movement of the closure plate in many different directions. In addition, the elastomeric spring has fewer parts and is easier to assemble than conventional spring systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip Ray Scott, Marty Dean Youman
  • Patent number: 5580635
    Abstract: A collection tarpaulin is comprised of top and bottom sheets. The top sheet partially overlies the bottom sheet. Contiguous portions of their respective peripheries are joined together to form a pouch and an exposed portion of the bottom sheet. Trimmings from a tree or bush fall onto the exposed portion of the bottom sheet. By lifting the free end of the bottom sheet, the trimmings slide by gravity into the pouch for disposal. The collection tarpaulin may be made from a single sheet or from two separate sheets. The collection tarpaulin may be rectangular or circular in shape. For trimming long hedges, the collection tarpaulin can be much longer than it is wide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Inventor: Mark G. Hoheisel
  • Patent number: 5524423
    Abstract: A kit and method for removing fallen leaves and other yard waste, composting the leaves, and applying a fertilizer and/or dethatching agent to the ground is disclosed. The kit generally comprises fabric net impregnated with a fertilizer and/or dethatching material, a bag, impregnated with a composting promoting material, which receives the rolled net, and a plurality of special spikes, adapted to hold the net to the ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1996
    Inventor: Reginald J. Haley
  • Patent number: 5513484
    Abstract: A transfer station for collecting and transferring harvested material to large transport vehicles includes a hopper, in which harvested material accumulates, supported on a rigid frame. The hopper may be elevated from a lower "collection" height to an upper "transfer" height that facilitates release of harvested material into the transport vehicle. In one embodiment, the contents of the hopper are poured into a collection vehicle by tilting the entire transfer-station frame. In a second embodiment of the invention, the transfer-station frame does not tilt. Instead, the hopper is equipped with a sloped floor member. When lifted vertically and positioned over a collection vehicle, the hopper discharges by gravity as soon as an opening is established at the base of the slope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, Matti Laserson, Steven Frank
  • Patent number: 5495708
    Abstract: A harvester for harvesting grapes or other fruits from plants. The harvester uses a force balanced shaker head, which rotationally oscillates around a vertical axis. A yoke extends down from the force balanced shaker. The arms of the yoke are attached to a plurality of rods, which shake the plant to harvest the fruit. Two rows of enclosures are provided below the shaker head to catch the fruit. A low profile conveyor transports the collected fruit to storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1996
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Richard K. Warren, Larry L. Slates
  • Patent number: 5469695
    Abstract: A tree-shaking apparatus includes a vibration mechanism of conventional design mounted on a movable, tilted frame support that serves to deflect falling harvest onto a conveyor and collection assembly, which is mounted on a separately movable frame support. The shaking and collection units are brought separately to the tree, and unite with one another by means of rods that interlace during operation. In one embodiment, the rods associated with the shaking and deflection unit are selectibly extendible, while those associated with the collection unit flip into place and, upon completion of harvesting, flip back, thereby tipping any remaining harvest onto the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 28, 1995
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Patent number: RE36775
    Abstract: A collection tarpaulin is comprised of top and bottom sheets. The top sheet partially overlies the bottom sheet. Contiguous portions of their respective peripheries are joined together to form a pouch and an exposed portion of the bottom sheet. Trimmings from a tree or bush fall onto the exposed portion of the bottom sheet. By lifting the free end of the bottom sheet, the trimmings slide by gravity into the pouch for disposal. The collection tarpaulin may be made from a single sheet or from two separate sheets. The collection tarpaulin may be rectangular or circular in shape. For trimming long hedges, the collection tarpaulin can be much longer than it is wide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Inventor: Mark G. Hoheisel