Mobile potato grading lines have grown to the extent that manufacturers are introducing scaled-down outfits to suit smaller growers.
Tong Peal’s Caretaker Compact is aimed at growers of 100 acres of potatoes of less; there are still 1,800mm and 2,100mm wide versions but it has a shorter hopper, no inspection stands alongside the cleaning unit and a few other simplifications.
A new feature that will be rolled out across the Tong Peal range is the use of inverter controllers to regulate variable speed electric motors. Apart from centralising speed adjustment at the picking area, using inverters makes it possible to fine-tune the speed of the hopper belt, the presentation belt, cleaning table, sizer agitator and web and the picking belts to significantly reduce electricity consumption, says the company.
As with the full-scale Caretaker, the compact version incorporates a Scotts Evolution cleaner with four spiral rollers and an Easy-Grade sizer ahead of the four-man inspection table. List price is £76,985.