1985 - Volume #9, Issue #5, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Vegetable Crop Picker Travels Down the Road
FARM SHOW readers may remember Vogel, who built his own articulated combine from the ground up (Vol. 7, No. 3) and who also built a huge 20-ton manure spreader for a neighbor (Vol. 8, No. 4). Since our last report, Vogel has left farming and gone into the manufacturing and fabricating business. He designs and builds huge harvesting equipment for carrots, onions, and other vegetable crops and has begun producing his new hand-pick crop machine.
It's unique in that its wheels pivot from row-crop configuration at the push of a lever to travel down the road at 12 mph. Also, the picking platform, which consists of a variable speed conveyor, can be adjusted in height to adapt to a variety of crops.
Many farmers in the diversified crop area of western Michigan often pick crops like squash and cucumbers into pails and bags which are then dumped into wagons. Vogel says his machine is the first in the area to automate the process.
"Workers are happier because they're more productive. And the owner's happy because he saves as much as $1,500 a day in labor costs," says Vogel.
The machine consists of two heavy-built drive units that arch over the conveyor platform. The four drive wheels turn hydraulically to travel in any direction. Hydraulic 2-way cylinders driving heavy chain provide the steering. The picking platform is 60-ft. long and the elevator at one end extends another 15 ft. to dump into a wagon. The machine is 75 ft. in total length for road travel but easily makes corners because of the all-wheel steer and drive.
The machine is powered by a 50 hp. Avco diesel engine and is fitted with two hydrostatic pumps for the drive system and one pressure sensitive pump to power auxiliary systems.
Vogel's machine sells for $35,000 to $40,000, depending on options.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wayne Vogel, 12191 Maple Island Road, Fremont, Mich. 49412 (ph 616 924-5803).
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