Orchard-Rite: shaker and mover in craftsmanship
Orchard-Rite's 104,000 square foot (almost 10,000 square metres) manufacturing and assembly plant in Washington state is located in the heart of agriculture.
Orchard-Rite employees, who build their harvest equipment and also manufacture frost fans for orchard and vine frost protection, take exceptional pride in the work they do, says Tim Price, VP at Orchard-Rite.
Being surrounded by orchards, farms and vineyards, puts them close to the issues that affect crop health and a productive annual harvest. “They know that your crops are your livelihood, and your livelihood deserves the industry’s best.
“What sets Orchard-Rite’s tree shakers apart from other harvest machinery manufacturers is that they build the frames, chassis and heads, on-site,” Mr Price said. “The Orchard-Rite tree shakers are produced using leading-edge practices including precision robotic welding, laser cutting, and CNC machining.”
Mr Price said Orchard-Rite works directly with Caterpillar to create engines that provide the right amount of horsepower for optimum performance.
The engines are audited by CAT, ensuring that they are providing Orchard-Rite with engines that are worthy of their reputation for durability. Both the Bullet and Monoboom tree shakers are powered by CAT 4.4L, 147.6 horsepower engines.
Mr Price said Orchard-Rite has spent years listening to the concerns that nut growers have about harvest and harvesting machines. Understanding their needs inspired the company to evolve their shakers to include variable and customisable shake patterns.
This allows owners to set their own shake speed and power, optimising harvest, while also protecting their trees. Additionally, these simple customisable settings make for an easy learning curve for the operators. Once the perfect setting is dialled in, the operator is able to consistently shake each tree row identically.
Some key unique attributes of Orchard-Rite’s shakers are its Hydra-Shake, AccuShake and WetHead features. The Hydra-Shake operating system offers a faster delivery and customisable rate of power, allowing for a concise powerful shake so the operator can shake more in less time.
AccuShake uniformly shakes the orchard using variation in shake timing and engine speed, clearing trees faster and easier than before. And the WetHead cooling and lubrication system, cools the shaker head pad, to help further protect the trees from potential damage during harvest.
Orchard-Rite’s Bullet will help you accelerate your harvest, Mr Price said. “This highly efficient machine will allow you to drive from tree to tree with no need for backing up, as you travel straight down-the-row.
“The Bullet’s rugged design is compact, yet powerful. It features heavy-duty, energy wheel bearings, a 50-degree shaker head roll, three-wheel drive, a differential lock feature and is equipped with ultra-bright LED lights for night-time harvesting.
“The refined shake patterns help you to remove more nuts in less time. The Bullet now offers optional flotation tyres,” Mr Price said. “These tyres help further reduce soil compaction and provide excellent traction in soft and sandy soil conditions. We find them to be more cost effective, easier to install and maintain than tracks.
“The Monoboom’s practical design was developed by our engineers, who have extensive experience in agriculture and nut harvesting.
“It offers refined shake patterns, removes more nuts, and leaves fewer nuts left on the trees. It too offers multiple shake frequencies and the unique shaker head lubrication system to reduce the chance of tree damage.”
The Monoboom was designed with a boom anchor assembly for maximum resistance to breakage and the long boom reach is able to both scaffold and trunk shake.
The Monoboom can also be equipped with the ‘Side Shooter’ attachment to allow for down-the-row harvesting. The Side Shooter eliminates backing up to the tree, saving fuel and putting less wear on the shaker.
“Orchard-Rite tree shakers put innovation, technology and craftsmanship to work for you,” Mr Price said.
Source: Australian Tree Crop magazine