We have seen some interesting developments with grape harvester technology this year. Check out the Pellenc sorting harvester.
The new Pellenc harvester was put through its paces in a block of Cabernet in McLaren Vale yesterday afternoon. The result was impressive - it was picking twin cordon cleanly @ ~3.6km/h!
Also on display was its berry sorting feature, it de-stems and removes the vast majority of the MOG through a very elaborate set of shakers, fingers and rollers on top of the machine. Seemed to do an excellent job.
It also carries the fruit on board rather than using an elevator into a chaser bin. Instead the fruit is carried in two hoppers that tip separately at the back of the unit - total capacity is ~2.5t according to the operators. As a result there was only one tractor/gondola used tipping into a bulk truck.
Overall we were pleased with the result and estimate it covered the 25 acres in around 15 hours.I wonder if its complexity will count against with regard to breakdowns, but time will tell I guess!
Link to Pellenc harvester newsletter - http://www.pellenc.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=721