Olive harvesters are professional tools to be found on the market in many versions, with different designs, weight and manufacture quality. If you want to achieve maximum productivity in your harvesting sessions, it is important to choose a product that combines essential aspects, such as high power, excellent handling and maximum respect for the plant health.
Furthermore, before buying a tool, it is useful to carefully analyze the characteristics of the olive grove and of the territory, as well as the type of olive tree and the method of cultivation. Which olive harvester should you choose, then, to optimize your performance?
How to choose an olive harvester: the basic rules
It is essential to build your equipment before the beginning of the olive ripening season, so that you can act quickly as soon as it is possible to give the green light to harvest. What shall you take into consideration when purchasing your next olive harvester?
The choice of an olive harvester based on the type of power supply
The main alternatives available in terms of power supply are electric, pneumatic and engine-driven. Electric olive harvesters are a convenient and sustainable solution, which today guarantees high power and long working autonomy, with low consumption and little need for maintenance. Versatile and lightweight, our Campagnola electric olive harvesters can be operated thanks to lithium-ion backpack batteries, normal car batteries or latest generation electric generators. The comfort ensured by these tools is favored by low, but also perfectly balanced weights, thanks to the positioning of the motor in the lower part of the extension pole.
Pneumatic harvesters, on the other hand, draw their power from efficient compressors, which can be engine-driven (petrol or diesel powered) or connected to the tractor PTO. In the Campagnola range you will also find the new tractor-mounted engine-driven compressors, which can be connected to the tractor hydraulic lift or to a trailer, to have an independent unit even when the tractor is off.
Engine-driven olive harvesters, on the other hand, are suitable for intensive interventions and have a prolonged working autonomy. They are the right alternative for those who want to work completely independently, without any batteries or compressors. The Campagnola endothermic models are available in combination with the ALICE STAR, HERCULES 6 and ICARUS V1 harvesting heads.
The power of the harvester
To choose your ideal olive harvester, you should also take into account its power, often evaluated based on the speed of movement of the rakes. With a higher speed you will be able to manage more demanding work paces and intensive pruning sessions. Another advantage is the possibility of working on every type of olive-tree, without ever damaging its branches. The more advanced models have interesting functions, such as the possibility of regulating the number of oscillations of the rakes and of setting a power saver, which accelerates the speed of the harvester during work and slows it down during moments of rest (when the teeth do not touch the branches).
The importance of autonomy when choosing an olive harvester
Among the characteristics that you should take into consideration to make a wise choice, there is also the working autonomy of your olive harvester. With the traditional endothermic or pneumatic models it is possible to go on work for hours without any interruptions, but today even cutting-edge electric models are compatible with powerful lithium-ion batteries, or generators, or lead-acid car batteries, going on working for several consecutive hours.
Weight and its distribution as crucial elements
Professional olive growers are particularly careful about the weight of their olive harvesters, since carrying out long harvesting sessions means holding a tool that puts considerable strain on one’s arms, shoulders and neck. For this reason, you should always carefully evaluate the weight of the olive harvesters you would like to include in your equipment, preferring lightweight and, above all, well balanced models.
Choose those that use ultra-light construction materials (such as polymers and carbon) both for the tool and for any fixed or telescopic extension poles. Furthermore, check that the harvesting head is well balanced by a motor placed at the base of the pole, a solution that makes the tool balanced and less tiring to use.
No to vibrations
We advise you to pay particular attention to vibrations. In the cheapest or oldest models, in fact, there are numerous vibrations that are transmitted from the olive harvester to the olive grower’s limbs. This can cause serious consequences on his musculoskeletal system.
In the long run, in fact, excessive vibrations generate tiredness and professional pathologies, which can be avoided with the use of tools designed with a focus on the well-being of their users.
Length and versatility
Olive harvesters are often used connected to fixed or telescopic extension poles, which allow you to reach even the highest branches without the use of ladders. To understand which olive harvester model is right for you, therefore, carefully take into consideration the type and height of the olive-trees. If a fixed extension pole can be a robust alternative, telescopic ones also add versatility of use to this feature.
Olive harvester combs: how to choose?
The combs of each olive harvester are equipped with teeth, which can have different shapes and lengths, as well as be built with different materials: the cheapest are made of plastic, but the professional models are made of carbon or technopolymer.
The rakes of the olive harvester can carry out different types of movement, such as the lateral opposed one, the elliptical one and the elliptical opposed one. The latter is a patent of Campagnola.
Another patent of our company are the tuning fork-shaped teeth, which allow an easy harvesting of any type of olive, whatever its size or degree of ripeness.
To make an informed choice about the combs, their shape and their length, it is useful to know the type of olive tree well and evaluate the needs of the chosen cultivation method. Also important are the easy maintenance of the harvesting heads and the quick replaceability of the tines.
Gentle contact with the branches
If originally harvesting was carried out with simple wooden sticks, today the dangers of this practice on the health of the branches are known. Harvesting is an operation that must be carried out with the utmost delicacy, avoiding in every way damaging the plant and causing risky debarking.
To safeguard the health of the plants, it is advisable to equip the tools with flexible teeth, which can adapt to the shape of the branches and touch them in a softer way. Using quality tools facilitates the detachment of the olives, but also their subsequent picking from the ground, since they can fall delicately onto the nets, ready to be carried to the subsequent processing.
Robustness, guarantee and assistance
The last, but not least important, parameter on which to base your choice of olive harvesters is their robustness. It is essential to choose a tool that is reliable and resistant in all working conditions, even after long hours in the field or after several consecutive days of harvesting. Deeply evaluate the mechanical components of which your tool is made and their resistance to mechanical stress.
Always check the presence of a manufacturer’s warranty and select sales points which can ensure constant and competent after-sales assistance. Campagnola has always invested in the company-customer relationship and has built a solid network of trusted dealers.
They are the ones who can help you with ordinary maintenance operations (which are simple and manageable in DIY mode) and extraordinary ones, as well as providing you with spare parts and qualified support.
The Campagnola universe is made of professionalism and transparency. This is why we have been a point of reference for many farmers in the world since 1958. Do you still have doubts about which olive harvester is right for you? Please, contact us or our dealer who is closest to you!