This is a new Tuthill Model 2015 Centipede Harvester that can cover over one and a half acres per hour. No need for extra passes down orchard row and no need to blow fruit from between the tree trunks. Its range of machines include harvesters that can pick up to 150 tonnes of fruit per day.
Pick up system:
The pick-up system gives an exceptionally fast and gentle pick-up that can handle the heaviest crops. Forward speeds of over 3 kph (2.0 mph) are possible and enable the harvester to cover over one and half acres per hour. The Centipede picks large or small fruit gently and without damage.
Most growers using Centipede harvesters are able to send their fruit straight to cider-makers without any post harvester cleaning. This is because the Centipede harvester has an efficient double cleaning system. It has the well proven Long Spine hedgehog cleaner belt combined with a powerful 710mm diameter fan. This system provides very high fruit throughput with unrivalled fruit quality combined.
Elevator and conveyor systems:
The elevator lifts the fruit from the picking head to the cleaning system from where a conveyor delivers the fruit into the trailer. The conveyor can fill a large trailer with 2.00 metre high sides. There is a fruit diverter at the end of the conveyor so that the fruit can be directed anywhere in the trailer. It is quite usual for trailers to carry more than four tonnes of fruit.
Power system and control:
The Centipede harvester is hydraulically powered from the tractor PTO. It has its own integral hydraulic tank, oil cooler, and hydraulic control valve. The controls are all electric and there is a compact switch console conveniently mounted in the tractor cab.
The 2015 Model Centipede harvester has an automatic hitch with over-centre latching for towing up to 4 tonne trailers.
Clearing fruit from between the trees:
Centipede side sweep is mid-mounted on the tractor. It is clears the fruit very efficiently from between the trees. There is no need to use a blower. The side sweep can work in any row widths from 4.25metres (14 feet) to 6.0 metres (20 feet). It folds up for transport. The speed limit for the Centipede working between trees is around 3 kph (2.0 mph).
Centipede front brushes:
Centipede front brushes are mounted at the front of the tractor and clear any fruit lying in the path of the tractor. They clear a path of over 2.6 metres (8.5 feet) giving ample room for a trailer with wide tyres to follow without crushing fruit. The Centipede system clears the fruit quickly so there is no fruit left on the ground when the harvester gets to the end of the row. The brushes fold automatically when lifted. This makes them compact so that turning at the headlands requires less space. The brushes are available in two versions. One version fits onto a standard tractor front three point linkage. The other version has its own lifting system. Both brushes fold automatically.
The output of the harvester can be measured by the amount of ground it has covered or the amount of fruit harvested. In heavy crops the harvester can easily pick and clean over 15 tonnes per hour. Output will ultimately depend on the speed with which it can be supplied with empty trailers. In lighter crops the harvester can travel at up to 3 kph (2.00 mph), to cover about one and half acres per hour.