Standen Pearson is set to launch a new two-row trailed and a three-row self-propelled potato harvester. Andy Collings witnessed their first outing in a field near Ely, Cambridgeshire.



Cambridgeshire company Standen-Pearson has set out to please both trailed and self-propelled potato harvester fans by introducing one of each last week.

T2 trailed harvester

While maybe not having the “wow appeal” of a self-propelled machine, the new trailed, two-row T2 harvester is likely to sell in greater volumes. It replaces the company’s Enterprise and Vision harvesters and is claimed to offer greater output through improved separation and control systems.

It’s in the control department that one of the greatest improvements has been made. The operator now has a touchscreen with menus that enable all the settings of the harvester to be adjusted – including share depth, web speeds and cleaner rollers. There is also a slave console with two levers to control the most frequently used functions.

On the harvester itself, all components are hydraulically powered from four pumps driven by the tractor pto, so speed can be easily adjusted.

Potatoes are lifted by two conventional Diablo share and disc units and arrive on a short digging web. Where this offloads on to the longer sieve web, the distance of drop can be adjusted from virtually nothing (good for very dry conditions) to 20cm (ideal for wet, sticky conditions).

From the sieve web, the potatoes pass on to a new separation unit. Called the Omega system, it has two sections of three fluted rollers and three rubber-clod rollers. The operator can set their speed, working angle and direction of rotation.

The chassis, part of which is used for the hydraulic oil reservoir, is mounted on a powered, steerable axle that can also have its track width extended to provide greater stability in the field. Price of the T2 starts at £120,000.

FW3 
Standen Pearson’s new T2 two-row harvester replaces the company’s Enterprise and Vision harvesters and is claimed to offer greater output through improved separation and control systems.
Ploeger Self-propelled

For advocates of self-propelled potato harvesters, the new Dutch-made Ploeger AR-3W three-row harvester is now marketed by Standen Pearson as part of its three-row system which includes cultivation, bed-forming, soil separation and planting machinery.

Powered by a 400hp Deutz engine, the AR-3W’s transmission is hydrostatic and drives tracks at the rear and wheels at the front. The Claas-sourced tracks increase traction and reduce ground compaction. They also assist with steering by pivoting through 18deg and aid stability by using manual/automatic chassis levelling.

Powered front wheels – 270/95 R54 – add in another 46deg of turn with the result that the machine has a reasonable amount of manoeuvrability when making headland turns.

The front wheels are also positioned in front of the lifting shares, which means there’s an unrestricted flow of potatoes through the machine at full bed width with no narrowing.

After the crop has been topped using a Baselier unit, potatoes are lifted using shares and powered 900mm diameter discs on to the short digger web. They are passed to the sieve web via an adjustable drop height and then, having passed over three agitators on the sieve web, on to a rubber covered, reversible haulm removing roller.

Eight rubber-fluted rollers and eight clod rollers then do their cleaning work – the clod rollers are reversible, height adjustable and speed variable.

Potatoes are then passed to the cross conveyor which feeds the elevator. But even if there isn’t a trailer in place the system allows for up to 1.5t to be stored – time enough for a headland turn or for a new trailer to arrive so that harvesting can continue non-stop.

For the operator the cab can be positioned to provide the best view of operations and also rotated through 45deg so rear and front views can be achieved without undue neck strain.

When the cab is in its most forward position, there is room for the elevator to perform some geometrical gymnastics and fold its way on board, with the result that transport width is a tidy 3.4m. Price of the Ploeger AR-3W is £415,000.