2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Homemade Fruit Picker
The picker consists of an 8-ft. long aluminum handle that supports an 8-in. dia., 5-in. deep wire basket made from a box spring bed frame. Four curved metal fingers are located on one side of the basket. The fingers extend a few inches above the basket and bend inward at a 90-degree angle. A piece of felt at the bottom of the basket, taken from an insulated rubber boot, cushions the fruit as it falls into the basket.
"To pick fruit, I reach up into the tree and pull the basket toward me until the fingers contact the fruit. Then I give the basket a gentle tug, which causes the fruit to break loose from the stem and fall directly into the basket. Depending on the size of the fruit, the basket can hold 3 to 4 apples or pears.
"I've used it to pick several hundred pounds of fruit at a time. It's lightweight and easy to use," says Travis. "I looked at some fruit pickers used by nursery suppliers, but they were plastic and smaller than mine. To help keep the fruit from bruising, I covered some of the metal prongs on the sides of the basket with rubber vacuum hose, using zip ties to secure them. I used a discarded aluminum TV antenna pole to make the handle. It attaches to the basket with a short length of pipe that fits inside the pole and is bolted to a pair of metal straps that are welded to the bottom of the basket."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chad Travis, 574 Greers Ferry Rd., Drasco, Ark. 72530 (ph 870 668-3400).
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