Blueberry Harvester & Bin Handler
The blueberry harvester shown above with bin handler consists of one or more reel-type picking heads. The heads are side mounted to a tractor in such a manner as to allow the picking head to follow contours of the ground. The reel rotates within the head in the same direction as the tractor wheels. This rotation is at a speed in ratio to the forward motion of the tractor. As the comb type-picking bars rake the blueberries from the plants they are carried around the reel and deposited in a conveyor. This conveyor delivers them to another longer conveyor, which carries them to the rear mounted bin handler. As the berries fall from the conveyor a blower cleans them. The bin handler is hydraulically operated by the tractor operator. It is capable of filling two bins before unloading, and storing up to six bins above. Each bin contains a radio frequency ID chip and this will feature in DBE’s next generation of blueberry harvesters to provide harvest traceability. All units are equipped with two electric computerized controllers. One controller sends it's signals to an electric-over-hydraulic manifold and corrects the reel rotation speed according to the tractor speed. The other controller coordinates the hydraulics of the bin handler. This harvester can be mounted on most models of tractors from 75 hp and up. The operation of this harvester requires only one person to operate the tractor and the bin handler. These harvesters are available in single, double and triple head configurations. These machines have been proven to reduce the harvesting costs by as much as 65% and are more efficient than hand raking for product recovery.