Monday, October 24, 2016

Testing out our harvest equipment

    Last summer we made some improvements to our harvesting equipment. To test how those mechanical modifications would hold up during harvest, I decided to shake some early maturing cultivars that had already dropped a large portion of their crop on the ground (photo at right).  We started with Colby trees today, and will move on to Osage and Canton tomorrow.  

    My main concern was to make sure the harvester would pick pecans the way we designed the machine (photo above). As many growers have seen during field days, we have modified our 8090 Nuthustler pecan harvester by making major changes to the drive line, nut elevator system, cross auger, and cleaning chamber. We even added a sweeper wheel to the harvester. This year we replaced the conveyor chain inside the machine. Rather than use the webbed chain as provided by the manufacturer, we inserted what is known as welded selvage belting in its place. We are hoping the selvage belt will last longer than the original chain and help sift out some of the dirt picked up by the harvester.