Standen Engineering says it will launch the Tolmac MT14 front harvester to UK growers at British Potato 2013 on 27 and 28 November. This unusual concept converts any trailed two-row potato harvester into a four-row one.
The system involves harvesting two rows in front of the tractor, plus one to the left and one to the right, with the crop conveyed to the centre of the tractor by two cross conveyors. Then a conventional two-row harvester lifts four rows in one pass .
The system makes it possible to use a conventional harvester, but with the tractor set at a wider track. There’s also potential to use very large flotation tyres.
The Tolmac front-mounted harvester is equipped with “diablo-free” intakes and large-depth wheels. The relatively short web area is said to give effective cleaning, while large-diameter discs ensure a gradual and smooth intake of the crop.
The harvester is completely hydraulically driven. Hydraulic front intake coulter discs, webs, cross conveyors and agitators are all electrically speed-adjustable. Also, the Tolmac system ensures that the front harvested rows are untouched by wheelings during the lifting process.
There’s also an MT 12 model, designed for working in combination with an offset trailed harvester. This harvests ridges directly in front of the tractor and transports them via a side delivery conveyor to the valley between the next rows to be harvested.