25 December 1998

Improving potato view

TRADITIONAL two row potato harvesters are built around a rectangular chassis – a design, Standen Engineering maintains, obscures the drivers view of the lifting mechanism.

To overcome the problem, the companys Vision harvester has the main digging shares and primary web suspended on a high central spine.

"This arrangement give the tractor driver a clearer view up through the front of the machine, giving him a better opportunity to achieve the best soil/tuber mix on the webs to reduce crop damage," explains Standens managing director, Andy Bone.

In the field, crop passes from a 1.7m (5.7ft) wide digger web to a set of dual rubber stars, which cushion the tubers flow while allowing the separation of loose soil, and small stones and clods.

From the second web the tubers fall 12.5cm (5in) on to a cleaning table, before passing across a 1.05m wide spreader web and on to the discharge elevator.

This latter component incorporates soft rubber flights covered with mesh netting, with pliable nylon web bars.

– a design, says Standen, which is not only gentler on the crop but 200kg lighter than a conventional web.

The harvester can also be specified with hydraulic drive to the webs, to enable their speeds to be infinitely varied.