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Mechanical Onion "Topper"
Our mechanical onion "topper" isn't the only one on the market, but we think it's the best. Traditionally, taking the 18-in. tops off onions is done manually, a slow and labor-intensive task. Even our smallest machine, a 4-row unit, will save an estimated $4,000 per year in labor costs on average size operations. We're figuring $400 an acre labor, and the machine will do 10 acres a day.
Here's how it works:
Onions are picked up by a conveyor chain. As they enter the machine, tops are lifted up vertically. Air velocity of up to 60 mph slightly levitates bulbs for proper cutting orientation. Tops are discharged in the air stream at the rear. Weeds and other heavy material are conveyed out on a conveyor belt. A rear cross conveyor and plastic lined chute form a neat windrow at the rear.
It features a self-contained hydraulic system with two remotes, 1,000 rpm pto, two high capacity blowers, 2.00 chain pitch, and is 17 1/2 ft. long.
The 4-row, 60 hp machine sells for $30,000. The 6-row, 75 hp machine sells for $40,000. (Dave Shuff, Specialized Parts and Manufacturing Co., P.O. Box 1043, 107 Main St., Parma, Id. 83660; ph 208 722-6936, fax 6937)

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #2