Tree Shaker Patents (Class 56/340.1)
  • Patent number: 10349579
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods and apparatus for inducing (harmonic) vibration of objects having a large mass(es), such as the trunk of a fruit or nut tree, the crop of which may be harvested by shaking the tree through the induced vibration. Linear and radial embodiments utilize and include an actuator using Terfenol-D, a magnetostrictive actuator. Different versions utilize a piston rod actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Westside Equipment Co.
    Inventor: Lloyd Snell
  • Patent number: 9832929
    Abstract: A harvesting head utilized with or incorporated into a mechanical harvesting machine for harvesting crops. The harvesting head has a frame that attaches to a frame member of the harvesting machine. The frame defines a harvesting area sized to receive the canopy of a tree or vine and supports a picking assembly and a motion inducing mechanism. The picking assembly comprises a pair of sub-structures having a forward post member, rearward post member, a connecting member connecting the two posts and a plurality of curvilinear rods, which also interconnect the posts, that extend into the harvesting area. The motion inducing mechanism is connected to and pivots the posts of the picking assembly so as to rapidly move the rods forward and backward to engage the canopy and dislodge the crop therefrom. A conveying assembly conveys the crop to a bin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Inventor: William Majors
  • Patent number: 9797319
    Abstract: A handheld work apparatus has a combustion engine (4) for driving a tool. The combustion engine (4) has an ignition device, a device for metering fuel and a control device (31). The control device (31) engages when an engagement speed (nE1, nE2) is reached, in order to limit the speed (n) of the combustion engine (4). In order to allow the speed (n) to be set in an easy manner at full throttle, the work apparatus has a device for setting the engagement speed (nE2) by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Manuel Dangelmaier, Tim Gegg
  • Publication number: 20140250854
    Abstract: A harvester for agricultural products such as fruits such as grapes, berries, vegetables, and the like, and method of harvesting, using an RFID system capable of detecting and interrogating RFID tags associated with objects or conditions along a path of the harvester in a manner to determine both presence and location of the associated object or condition, to enable responsively adapting or altering the operation of harvesting apparatus in a predetermined manner, such as by reducing or interrupting forces exerted thereby when about or proximate the object or condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: CNH AMERICA LLC
    Inventors: Keith W. Wendte, Bingcheng Ni
  • Publication number: 20140109541
    Abstract: A fruit harvesting unit mounted on a harvesting machine. The harvesting unit comprises a straddling chassis delimiting a harvesting tunnel in which plants to be shaken are introduced successively to move through said tunnel between a front opening and a rear opening of said tunnel. The harvesting unit has a main shaker system including two shaker devices disposed on respective sides of the harvesting tunnel to delimit transversely a central part of said tunnel, and an additional shaker system that is mounted on the straddling chassis and comprises two shaker devices disposed on respective sides of the harvesting tunnel to delimit transversely a front upper part of said tunnel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2012
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Applicant: CNH FRANCE S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Berthet, Bruno Montaigu
  • Publication number: 20140075914
    Abstract: A fruit harvester includes a chassis; a motor; wheels; and a trunk shaker assembly. The shaker assembly includes engagement members configured to engage plants to loosen fruit. A mount connects the engagement members to a drive mechanism and includes an elastomeric block. The block includes a first passage formed therein extending from one side to an opposite side. Second passages extend from a third side to an opposite fourth side. A first tubular insert extends into the first passage and a second tubular inserts extend into the second passage. A backing plate is adjacent the fourth side and has orifices aligned with the second passages.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2013
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Inventors: Michael Vande Voort, Michael Ter Beek
  • Patent number: 8650847
    Abstract: In an example, a system for harvesting nut and fruit trees includes an electro-mechanical shaker head, a transport mechanism, and a control system. The electro-mechanical shaker head is configured to dislodge fruit or nuts from a target tree using a linear energy system. The transport mechanism is configured to position the electro-mechanical shaker head on the target tree. The control system is communicatively coupled to the shaker head and configured to dynamically control shaker head operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Inventor: Lloyd D. Snell
  • Publication number: 20140033673
    Abstract: The apparatus for harvesting olives and similar products comprises a support body (2) suitable to be grasped; a shaker unit (3) comprising a containment box (7) suitable to be mounted at the top of the support body (2); at least one comb sector (6) shaping a support structure (9, 90, 99) provided with a plurality of teeth (10), carried mobile by the containment box (7); a motor member to actuate the comb sector (6) in a substantially swinging motion, a motor shaft (12) arranged substantially aligned to the longitudinal axis of the support body (2) and suitable to be actuated in a rotary motion by the motor member. The apparatus also comprises a first kinematic chain (14) actuated by the motor shaft (12), suitable to transmit a first rotary motion, and a second kinematic chain (15) also actuated by the motor shaft (12) and suitable to transmit a second motion of the substantially alternated type.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Inventor: Ermanno Minelli
  • Publication number: 20140026532
    Abstract: The apparatus for picking olives and the like comprises a support rod (2) suitable to be grasped; a shaker unit (3) comprising a containment box (7) suitable to be mounted at the top of the support rod (2); at least one comb sector (6, 60) shaping a support structure (9, 99) for a plurality of teeth (10), carried mobile by the containment box (7); a motor member for actuating the comb sector (6, 60) in a substantially swinging motion. The support structure (9, 99) is constrained rotatably in a sleeve (12, 120, 121) hinged to the containment box (7) at a transverse axis (13), so as to produce a first swinging motion of the support structure (9, 99) about the transverse axis (13). The support structure (9, 99) of the teeth (10) is further constrained to the containment box (7) at a portion distal to the sleeve (12, 120, 121) by means of an articulated joint (18), in such a way as to produce a second swinging motion of the support structure (9, 99) about its longitudinal axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Publication date: January 30, 2014
    Applicant: Minelli Elettromeeccaica
    Inventor: Ermanno Minelli
  • Patent number: 8511051
    Abstract: Berry, such as grape, harvesting machine includes a plurality of superimposed shakers formed by flexible bars, and attached through their ends to two vertical shafts. At least one shaft is an oscillating actuation shaft controlled by a mechatronic shaking control permitting an oscillating movement. The mechatronic shaking control includes an eccentric system connected to the actuating shaft through a connecting rod, and the rotation axis of the eccentric system is mounted with an orientation adjustable in a plane parallel to the median plane of the machine so that any modification of this orientation permits to modify the amplitude of the oscillating movement of the actuating shaft, and, consequently the amplitude of the shaking movement of the shakers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Pellenc (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Jean-Marc Gialis
  • Patent number: 8336283
    Abstract: The invention relates to a fruit-harvesting machine including a motorized support structure (1) and a harvesting assembly mounted on the structure by a suspension frame (2), the harvesting assembly comprising two shaker devices adapted to detach the harvest from the plant stocks and a system for recovering the detached harvest, the shaker devices delimiting transversely between them a harvesting space into which the stocks to be shaken are introduced successively to move in the space between a front opening and a rear opening of said space, wherein the suspension frame (2) includes a rear part (6a) that is mounted on the support structure (1) with at least one degree of freedom in the transverse direction, a front part (5a) of the frame being mounted on the support structure (1) enabling transverse displacement of the rear part relative to the front part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: CNH America LLC
    Inventors: Jean-Paul Berthet, Thierry Le Briquer
  • Patent number: 7918078
    Abstract: A device for removing fruit from a plant comprising a vibratory head having means for clamping a fruit plant, and means for controlling the vibratory head, preferably an electronic control means. The vibratory head further comprises at least one reaction mass which is vibratably driveable and connected to the clamping means for relative movement therebetween to provide a unidirectional force transmittable between the reaction mass and the clamping means, and hence transmittable to the plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: Meteorite Agricultural Equipment BV
    Inventors: Elio Poggiagliolmi, Otis Johnston
  • Publication number: 20110047956
    Abstract: In an example, a system for harvesting nut and fruit trees includes an electro-mechanical shaker head, a transport mechanism, and a control system. The electro-mechanical shaker head is configured to dislodge fruit or nuts from a target tree using a linear energy system. The transport mechanism is configured to position the electro-mechanical shaker head on the target tree. The control system is communicatively coupled to the shaker head and configured to dynamically control shaker head operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Publication date: March 3, 2011
    Inventor: Lloyd D. Snell
  • Patent number: 7841160
    Abstract: Shaker with adjustable stiffness for harvesting machines, especially grape harvesters, includes two berry detaching assemblies, facing each other. Each assembly includes a plurality of vertically spaced out flexible shakers, having the general shape of a hairpin and two branches connected through a curved portion. The end of one of these branches, the activation branch, connects to an actuation system while the end of the other branches connects to a fixed support. The activation branch is equipped with a mechanism to modify the degree of stiffness or flexibility of the branches over at least a portion of length, and thereby, to adjust the degree of stiffness or flexibility of the shaker assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Assignee: Pellenc (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Jean-Marc Gialis
  • Patent number: 7810307
    Abstract: Lightened vibrating clamp for machines harvesting fruit by shaking, of the type featuring two jaws capable of being brought closer together or of being placed further apart from each other. At least one of the jaws includes an exterior jacket made of composite material and positioned around a web or core.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: Pellenc (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland
  • Patent number: 7810306
    Abstract: The invention relates to vibrating tongs, including two opposing jaws in which the closing or opening movements are achieved through one or several hydraulic jacks, referred to as clamping jacks. These tongs are especially remarkable in that the oil intake chamber or pressure chamber of the clamping jacks that control the closing motion of the jaw or jaws, is linked to a mechanism fitted to detect any pressure rise inside the chamber that occurs when the tong jaws come into contact with the trunk of a tree. Blocking devices are controlled by the detection mechanism, and any increase in the pressure of the jaws on the trunk is opposed as soon as such a pressure rise occurs in the oil intake chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Assignee: Pellenc Iberica, SL
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland, Bertrand Bouyou
  • Patent number: 7757471
    Abstract: An automatically operated agricultural tree harvesting machine having systems for automatically steering, propelling and stopping the harvester machine to shake each tree, eliminating the need for the operator to steer or manually engage the shaker head. The system comprises a series of sensors to determine the location of each tree and a system for controlling the steering of the harvester and to determine the distance moved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: Orchard Machinery Corporation
    Inventor: Donald P. Mayo
  • Publication number: 20100095644
    Abstract: An automatically operated agricultural tree harvesting machine having systems for automatically steering, propelling and stopping the harvester machine to shake each tree, eliminating the need for the operator to steer or manually engage the shaker head. The system comprises a series of sensors to determine the location of each tree and a system for controlling the steering of the harvester and to determine the distance moved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2008
    Publication date: April 22, 2010
    Inventor: DONALD P. MAYO
  • Patent number: 7694503
    Abstract: A scissor-type vibrator for shaking trees wherein one of the arms thereof extends backwards to achieve a better working lever so that, on gripping the tree, the hydraulic piston that connects the two scissor arms expands, thus increasing the tightening torque whilst reducing the hydraulic pressure, and furthermore, to bring about the vibration, the scissor-type vibrator has a cam to which a synchronized single or double rotation may be applied and the vibration time may be regulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Assignee: Maquinaria Garrido, S.L.
    Inventor: Antonio Ángel Garrido Madorran
  • Publication number: 20100024373
    Abstract: Berry, such as grape, harvesting machine includes a plurality of superimposed shakers formed by flexible bars, and attached through their ends to two vertical shafts. At least one shaft is an oscillating actuation shaft controlled by a mechatronic shaking control permitting an oscillating movement. The mechatronic shaking control includes an eccentric system connected to the actuating shaft through a connecting rod, and the rotation axis of the eccentric system is mounted with an orientation adjustable in a plane parallel to the median plane of the machine so that any modification of this orientation permits to modify the amplitude of the oscillating movement of the actuating shaft, and, consequently the amplitude of the shaking movement of the shakers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2009
    Publication date: February 4, 2010
    Applicant: PELLENC (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger PELLENC, Jean-Marc Gialis
  • Publication number: 20090308046
    Abstract: The present invention is a scissor-type vibrator for shaking trees wherein one of the arms thereof extends backwards to achieve a better working lever so that, on gripping the tree, the hydraulic piston that connects the two scissor arms expands, thus increasing the tightening torque whilst reducing the hydraulic pressure, and furthermore, to bring about the vibration, the scissor-type vibrator has a cam to which a synchronised single or double rotation may be applied and the vibration time may be regulated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Publication date: December 17, 2009
    Applicant: MAQUINARIA GARRIDO, S.L.
    Inventor: Antonio Ángel Garrido Madorran
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20090085364
    Abstract: Lightened vibrating clamp for machines harvesting fruit by shaking, of the type featuring two jaws capable of being brought closer together or of being placed further apart from each other. At least one of the jaws includes an exterior jacket made of composite material and positioned around a web or core.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2008
    Publication date: April 2, 2009
    Applicant: PELLENC Societe Anonyme)
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland
  • Patent number: 7500342
    Abstract: A harvesting device comprises two shaker assemblies mounted face-to-face on a straddle carrier frame for shaking fruit-bearing trees or bushes. Each shaker assembly comprises a plurality of horizontal flexible material rods having a first end detachably fixed to an oscillatory vertical support, a median portion adapted to act on the fruit-bearing trees or shrubs to shake them, and a second end connected to the frame by a connecting link that is horizontal and perpendicular to a vertical median plane of symmetry of the frame. Hence, in operation, the second end of the rod is maintained at a substantially constant distance from the vertical median plane of symmetry. The connecting link is fixed to the frame by a rigid connection and is flexible in a substantially horizontal plane, so that, in operation, the end of the connecting link adjoining the rod moves to-and-fro substantially horizontally in a direction substantially parallel to the vertical median plane of symmetry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: CHN France, S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Camille C. R. Mérant, Christophe Robert Defurne
  • Patent number: 7407166
    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: January 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Briesemeister, Christopher M. Schloesser, Mark Woodruff, Allen E. Russell
  • Patent number: 7350346
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a tree follower device. The tree follower device includes an engagement assembly that penetrates into and shakes the branches of fruit trees to dislodge the fruit. A pressure transducer in communication with a controller measures the pressure resistance from engagement with the branches and moves the tree follower device further into and out of the branches depending upon the resistance. The present invention allows for programming various upper and lower limits and for operating in different modes for different types of trees. The present invention also provides for varying the sensitivity and the speed at which the engagement devices moves into or out of the tree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventors: Allen E. Russell, Timothy J. Ozminkowski
  • Publication number: 20080016838
    Abstract: The invention relates to vibrating tongs, including two opposing jaws in which the closing or opening movements are achieved through one or several hydraulic jacks, referred to as clamping jacks. These tongs are especially remarkable in that the oil intake chamber or pressure chamber of the clamping jacks that control the closing motion of the jaw or jaws, is linked to a mechanism fitted to detect any pressure rise inside the chamber that occurs when the tong jaws come into contact with the trunk of a tree. Blocking devices are controlled by the detection mechanism, and any increase in the pressure of the jaws on the trunk is opposed as soon as such a pressure rise occurs in the oil intake chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2007
    Publication date: January 24, 2008
    Applicant: PELLENC IBERICA SL
    Inventors: Roger Pellenc, Christian Rolland, Bertrand Bouyou
  • Patent number: 7211745
    Abstract: A method for weighing a crop is disclosed. The method includes (a) loading a crop into a container using a crop transport apparatus, (b) temporarily stopping the crop transport apparatus from loading the crop into the container, (c) weighing the crop using the container, (d) unloading the weighed crop from the container by automatically manipulating the container, and (e) repeating steps (a)–(d).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Patrick H. Brown, Uriel A. Rosa, Shrini Upadhyaya
  • 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
  • Patent number: 7032370
    Abstract: A fruit trailer is for a fruit harvesting system including a fruit collector including a vehicle and at least one collector conveyor carried thereby for collecting fruit shaken from a tree, and a fruit removal vehicle intermittently brought to the fruit trailer for receiving fruit therefrom. The fruit trailer may be towed by the fruit collector for receiving and temporarily holding fruit therefrom. The fruit trailer may include a fruit container for receiving fruit from the fruit collector, and a trailer conveyor within the fruit container for conveying fruit therefrom to the fruit removal vehicle. The fruit container may be translatable between a first position adjacent the fruit collector and a second position spaced from the fruit collector. The fruit container may be pivotable when in the second position to an inclined orientation so that fruit is gravitationally fed onto the at least one trailer conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi
  • 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: 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: 6931829
    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: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel, Michael L. Suter
  • 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: 6901731
    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 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Ag-Right Enterprises
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Kevin M. Caine, Marty D. Youman
  • Patent number: 6854254
    Abstract: A harvesting device, in particular for fruit harvesting machines, which includes a straddling chassis, two shaker assemblies mounted face-to-face on the chassis to shake the fruit trees or bushes and detach the fruits, berries or the like from them. Each shaker assembly includes a drive mechanism having a vertical shaft oscillating about a vertical axis, and a plurality of vertically spaced, horizontal extending flexible rods. Each rod includes a first end detachably coupled to the drive mechanism, a median part and a second end connected to the chassis. The first end of each rod is mounted on the vertical shaft so that it can rotate relative to the vertical shaft and is coupled to the drive mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2005
    Assignee: CNH France S.A.
    Inventor: Jean Camille Mérant
  • Patent number: 6832469
    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: December 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: AG-Right Enterprises
    Inventors: Phillip R. Scott, Franklin P. Orlando, Kevin M. Caine, Marty D. Youman
  • Publication number: 20040221565
    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: Application
    Filed: March 7, 2003
    Publication date: November 11, 2004
    Applicant: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Publication number: 20040216442
    Abstract: A shaker device for use on a harvester to remove and gather produce from a plant. The shaker device is configured to be mounted adjacent to a conveyor assembly of a harvester. The shaker device is arranged and configured to contact and engage the lowermost branches of an untrimmed tree or plant to remove produce from the lowermost branches of the untrimmed tree or plant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2003
    Publication date: November 4, 2004
    Inventor: Richard A. Briesemeister
  • Publication number: 20040112035
    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: Application
    Filed: April 1, 2003
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Applicant: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Gregory W. Schrader
  • Publication number: 20040112034
    Abstract: A fruit trailer is for a fruit harvesting system including a fruit collector including a vehicle and at least one collector conveyor carried thereby for collecting fruit shaken from a tree, and a fruit removal vehicle intermittently brought to the fruit trailer for receiving fruit therefrom. The fruit trailer may be towed by the fruit collector for receiving and temporarily holding fruit therefrom. The fruit trailer may include a fruit container for receiving fruit from the fruit collector, and a trailer conveyor within the fruit container for conveying fruit therefrom to the fruit removal vehicle. The fruit container may be translatable between a first position adjacent the fruit collector and a second position spaced from the fruit collector. The fruit container may be pivotable when in the second position to an inclined orientation so that fruit is gravitationally fed onto the at least one trailer conveyor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Applicant: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Suter, Eitan Zehavi
  • Patent number: 6745551
    Abstract: A single-unit shaker-type tree harvesting machine designed to travel down one side of a row of trees in order to harvest the entire crop from each tree. A wheel-based chassis supports a laterally disposed shaker and an angled catch frame together and conveyors for removing harvested crops. The chassis also supports an adjustable overhead structure and swingable carriage that extends down around the opposite side of each tree. An adjustable catch frame at the bottom of the carriage extends below the tree branches on the opposite side, and meets the chassis-mounted catch frame forming a complete crop catching frame in the shape of a wide modified V. Shaking the tree dislodges the crops which fall into the frame and are conveyed away from the harvester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Inventor: Don Stackhouse
  • Publication number: 20040079065
    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 hafts (42, 48) are used to that end.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Publication date: April 29, 2004
    Applicant: Dotan LTD.
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Publication number: 20040050030
    Abstract: A harvesting device, in particular for fruit harvesting machines, includes a straddling chassis, two shaker assemblies (5) mounted face-to-face on the chassis to shake the fruit trees or bushes and detach the fruits, berries or the like from them, each shaker assembly including drive means (19, 21, 24) including a vertical shaft (24) oscillating about a vertical axis (20), a plurality of flexible rods (22), vertically spaced and extending horizontally, each rod having a first end (22a) detachably coupled to the drive means, a median part (22c) and a second end (22b) connected to the chassis (9); the first end (22a) of each rod (22) is mounted on the vertical shaft (24) so that it can rotate relative to said vertical shaft and is coupled to the drive means so that, in the coupled state, the corresponding rod assumes a working position in which the median part of the rod is relatively close to said median vertical plane of symmetry and is able to operate on the fruit trees or bushes whereas, in the uncoupled st
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2003
    Publication date: March 18, 2004
    Inventor: Jean Camille Merant
  • Publication number: 20040045269
    Abstract: A device for maintaining a seal between a first object and a second object is disclosed. The device comprises a retractable arm mounted to and extending from the first object towards the second object. The device also comprises a sealing arrangement mounted at a distal end of the retractable arm. The sealing arrangement includes a sealing member and a sensor configured to engage the second object and provide input to the retractable arm 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. In one particular embodiment, the disclosure relates to a harvester for gathering product from one or more plants. The harvester 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.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2003
    Publication date: March 11, 2004
    Applicant: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventor: Richard A. Briesemeister
  • Publication number: 20040020181
    Abstract: A single-unit shaker-type tree harvesting machine designed to travel down one side of a row of trees in order to harvest the entire crop from each tree. A wheel-based chassis supports a laterally disposed shaker and an angled catch frame together and conveyors for removing harvested crops. The chassis also supports an adjustable overhead structure and swingable carriage that extends down around the opposite side of each tree. An adjustable catch frame at the bottom of the carriage extends below the tree branches on the opposite side, and meets the chassis-mounted catch frame forming a complete crop catching frame in the shape of a wide modified V.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2002
    Publication date: February 5, 2004
    Inventor: Don Stackhouse
  • Patent number: 6672044
    Abstract: A vibration mechanism (300) for shaking a tree trunk held between two clamps, for an efficient harvest of the tree-fruits and for preventing damage to the tree-roots and to the tree trunk. The vibration unit comprises two counter-rotating rotors (R) weighted by displaceable weights (18, 19) and powered, preferably, by at least one hydraulic motor (M). A transmission (T) coupled to the motor and to the rotors, counter-rotates the rotors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Inventors: Eitan Zehavi, David Chiel
  • Publication number: 20030226345
    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: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2003
    Publication date: December 11, 2003
    Inventors: Joao Francisco De Mendonca Fava, Edson Lucio Domingues, Roy Scudder
  • Patent number: 6658834
    Abstract: A tree harvester including an automated tree sensing and shaking control system. The control system includes a tree sensing device, such as an ultrasonic sensor that is mounted upon the harvester. Predetermined tree distance values and other shaker head control parameters are input into a programmable logic control (PLC) device of the control system. When the harvester is located next to a tree, the operator initiates an automated tree shaking cycle in which the tree sensor provides distance values to the tree as input signals to the controller. The shaker head automatically moves outward towards the tree until the inputted distance values to the tree are equal to or less than the predetermined tree distance values. The control system then causes the shaker head to clamp the tree, to shake the tree, to unclamp the tree and to move the shaker head back to the harvester.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Orchard Machinery Corporation
    Inventor: Donald P. Mayo
  • Publication number: 20030024229
    Abstract: A device for maintaining a seal between a first object and a second object is disclosed. The device comprises a retractable arm mounted to and extending from the first object towards the second object. The device also comprises a sealing arrangement mounted at a distal end of the retractable arm. The sealing arrangement includes a sealing member and a sensor configured to engage the second object and provide input to the retractable arm 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. In one particular embodiment, the disclosure relates to a harvester for gathering product from one or more plants. The harvester 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.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2002
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Applicant: Oxbo International Corporation
    Inventor: Richard A. Briesemeister