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Drive system for Nairn's grape harvester

Supplier: Hydraulic Specialties - HYSPECS
19 March, 2013

When Hyspecs was approached by the production manager at Nairn Harvesters Ltd to offer a drive system for their latest grape harvester.

There were two key criteria they stressed to us: delivery needed to be short as the customer had requested delivery of the completed machine in under two months; and the system needed to work well right from the start (there was no time for trial and error).

Machine requirements:

  • Four-wheel drive system with anti-skid
  • Harvesting at a speed of 6km/hr on a gradient of up to 30 per cent
  • The machine would be able to climb a gradient of nearly 33 per cent
  • Under ideal harvesting conditions it is capable of removing up to two 8000kg of grapes off the vine per hour
  • Top road speed of 3twokm/h (could be 39 km/h with a different gearbox/pump arrangement)

That night we were on the phone to Poclain Hydraulics in France to discuss the project.  Poclain Hydraulics design and manufacture final drive hydraulic motors, and working on wheel drives like this is one of the things they do best.

The next morning we had two draft proposals based on two different drives systems, and just one week and one day from the initial inquiry we had finalised the design and Nairn's were able to place an order with the confidence that the machine would perform as required, and the tight delivery would be achieved.

The final drive used from Poclain is one of their standard Smart Drive(TM) systems.

Some of the other options that have already been implemented by Poclain include: preset vehicle speeds and cruise control; full engine management; maintaining constant true ground speed using radar sensors; and self steering of the harvester down the row.

The system can be fully customised to achieve a lot more than this; all you need to do is ask.

Vehicle with a Smart Drive system working at Poclain's test facilities in France