Testing and Performance Evaluation of Tractor Mounted Hydraulic Elevator for Mango Orchard
Kishor P. Kolhe and Bhaskhar B. Jadhav
DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2011.179.186
American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 4, Issue 1
Problem statement: The harvesting and pruning of horticultural crops is quite difficult due to their tallness. There are small hand tools available for harvesting and pruning. But these tools of harvesting and pruning are restricted due tree height, unavailability of trained labours for climbing and cost of operation etc. The mechanized machines are available; these are heavy and costly and are not suitable for low land holding, Indian marginal famers. Harvesting and pruning of horticultural crops with the available hand tool is very difficult. The labor has to climb on the tree by carrying these hand tools, which requires skill too. To overcome the above problems a Tractor Mounted Hydraulic Elevator (TMHE) powered by tractor PTO, was tested for the mechanical harvesting and pruning of mango orchards using digital load cell, digital Vibration meter and digital Techometer for elevator stability study and pruner engine RPM measurements while in branch cutting respectively. The field performance of the above machine was carried out on plane mango plot, at Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Dist: -Ratnagiri (Maharashtra, India). The machine was tested for the better stability at maximum reach position for harvesting and pruning of various mango varieties, like Alphanso, Totapuri etc. Approach: To reduce the harvesting /pruning cost, increase the harvesting/pruning efficiency and enhance the overall productivity of mango orchards. Also to use the traditional mechanized/ manual pruning tools with the developed tractor mounted hydraulic elevator. To develop and refine the power operated mechanism for marginal farmers. This stability study was carried out, by using strain gauge load cell (S-beam), having capacity of 2000 kg. The load cell guiding device was designed and fabricated for conducting the above experiments following standard material specifications of American society of testing material. The reaction on rear wheel of tractor was measured by using digital load cell, which converts the force acting on rear wheel of tractor into electrical signals and get it displayed on the control panel. The speed of pruner engine is measured for various mango trees branches at different heights, using digital tachometer. The vibrations of the pruning platform are measured for the respective pruner engine speed and height of Pruning Platform. The speed and vibration readings are taken for different branches of different diameter and height. The time required for pruning the branches is also measured. Results: The tractor mounted hydraulic elevator is most suitable for harvesting and pruning of mango orchards upto 12 m tree height without affecting the stability of machine with available tools. The field capacity of elevator was 0.08 h−1 for mango harvesting. The observed field capacity of the developed TMHE is 5,400 mango (1400 kg) day−1 for Alphanso mango, research is underway to develop hydraulic man-positioned, which would be easier to harvest, prune tree and spraying by hand or machine. Conclusion: The overturning of the elevator is not observed, up to 12 meter height of tree from ground including 150 kg load in the lifting platform for harvesting and pruning of mango orchards. The vibrations of the lifting platform noted are in safe limit.
© 2011 Kishor P. Kolhe and Bhaskhar B. Jadhav. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.