Strength is flexibility
By Peter Hill
A MACHINE for all crops and conditions. That is what Reekie has set out to build with its latest harvester, the Dominant 3000.
Developed from the Clean-Flow 2000 range introduced in 1991, the newcomer features changes to the intake area, main web agitation and drive-lines, and can be fitted with a selection of quick-change cleaning system modules.
"With growers producing more specialised potato crops and having to meet exacting quality standards, they often need to use whichever type of cleaning system will best suit the variety and lifting conditions," says John Baxter, product director. "With a choice of seven modules for the Dominant, they can do just that."
The two-row machine can be set up for unmanned or manned operation. With the latter, there is a four-position picking table that now has a full-width returns conveyor using Reekies lighter weight hollow rod web. A conversion attachment allows the full width of the table to be used when hand picking is not needed.
Cleaning system modules for the machine comprise:
• third web
• third web plus rubber star rollers
• alternating steel and star rollers
• pintle belt separator;
• lateral rubber-covered rollers plus overhead pintle belt
• longitudinal fully-supported rubber rollers plus overhead pintle belt
• longitudinal open-ended rubber rollers with scrapers plus overhead pintle belt.
The pintle belt separator could be useful for lifting straw bedded carrots but the new cross roller unit is a more likely candidate for UK growers. This comprises smooth and spiral finished rollers which can be driven contra-rotating, all in the same direction or a combination of the two.
An overhead pintle adds to the cleaning effect while also helping regulate the speed at which tubers pass over the rollers.
The two Clean-Flow longitudinal roller units are similar except that the open-ended design has roller scrapers and is supported at one end only to give clearer passage for both crop and haulm.
Compared with the lift-out module system introduced on the Clean-Flow 2000, revised drive layout and other changes make it easier and quicker to swap systems. Drives are also stronger than before, with more drive torque to the main web to better handle large volumes of soil in beds.
Also, the lifting share assembly is re-arranged as a trailing unit with hydraulic levelling adjustment to help maintain better depth control over undulating ground, and main web agitation can be adjusted without altering web angle.
A separate rotary agitator looks after the second web, while tuber bruising should be reduced a touch thanks to smaller diameter web-end rollers which reduce drop height by 50mm in two places, while the 100mm wider cart elevator gives more space for bulky crops.
Like all Reekie manufactured equipment, the Dominant 3000 is being sold through parent Netagco Groups UK sales company, based in Lincolnshire, alongside other Netagco products from Hassia, AVR, Structural and Rumptstad.