24 November 1995

Potato harvester with four-row lift output

A FOUR-ROW trailed potato harvester made its debut at Agritechnica. Manufactured by Grimme, the GV3000 with its diablo/share lifting system, is conventional in design – many saw it as merely a doubling up of a two-row machine.

But the web design attracts some interest. The main cleaning web, which runs virtually the whole length of the machine, can be operated in two modes: Flat, as in most harvesters, or in a "slack" position to create "hills and valleys" as it passes over supporting rollers.

The effect is twofold. Potatoes have further to travel and hence, spend longer on the web. The "valleys" also place potatoes closer together to improve cleaning, without risking crop damage.

Other features include a steering drawbar and axle with the option of hydrostatic wheel drive. Hydraulic power is used throughout the machine.

Once potatoes leave the main web they meet a series of rubber coated rollers, every other one a larger roller covered in a softer rubber compound. A cross-conveyer moves the crop to the discharge elevator.With a transport width of 3.3m, the GV3000 is not for narrow lanes – although Grimmes system for folding the discharge elevator across the rear of the machine helps.

Recommended power requirement is 100-120hp, with the manufacturer claiming outputs of around 12ha (30 acres) a day.

Spuds eye view of the two main cleaning webs which lie side by side on Grimmes four-row trailed potato harvester.Claimed output is 12ha/day.