Mr. Giorgos Samandas, Chairman of the Board of Directors and head of the machinery department at Panagrotiki SA, talks to AgroTypos about the olive and acrodryo harvesting machines.
What are the advantages of harvesting with vibrating machines?
First of all, we should clarify that the Sicma machines, which we represent in Greece, are specifically for vibration harvesting. Sicma has specialized exclusively in the field of vibration since 1978. Mechanical harvesting is fast and labor-saving for the producer.
Our machines are specifically for olive harvesting. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans can also be harvested with these machines, because they are even easier to harvest on pine trees than on olives.
In Kalamon table olives, harvesting becomes a game with the vibration of SICMA. We have already sold 30 machines in the Livanata area of Fthiotida, concerning this specific variety as well as that of Amfissa, with very good results.
Koroneiki is a very difficult variety to harvest. Our machines have already been tested in the area of Ilia, Laconia and Messinia and brought very positive results. They have a drop rate of over 90%, even in the early harvest that is made for agur oil.
Which machines are suitable for harvesting olives and which for olives?
Fruit drop rate is proportional to horsepower. For the olive harvest we need more horsepower. Smaller ones are needed for the ends. So producers can choose each machine that suits their crop. The machines we offer belong to the category of trailed or mounted on the tractor and self-propelled. Finally, SICMA’s vibrating heads are also excellently applied to construction machinery such as shovels.
Trailed or mounted machinery, what would you recommend to producers?
The application of these machines is trailed or mounted on a tractor. In sliding the most popular models are the TR80 and TR50.
The TR80 is suitable for olive harvesting. It can be used with or without an inverted umbrella, which is supplied with a direct connection and disconnection system to the vibrating head. Requires tractors (either wheeled or crawler) at least 70 HP. The last generation remote control, the auxiliary hydraulic steering system, the heat exchanger and the valve for regulating the pressure to tighten the caliper, complete the rich provisions of the equipment.
The TR50 is suitable for harvesting pine trees and especially almond trees. Requires at least 50 HP tractors. It has 3 degrees of freedom up-down, right-left, rotation around the axis. So it can grab trunk and branches in any position.
Among the mounted ones, the most popular is the TF80, which is suitable for olives and acrodryas. It is highly specialized latest generation telescopic arm for vibration. It is suspended by means of a double frame that “hugs” the tractor and is reinforced at the pressure points providing absolute protection to the tractor, in contrast to the suspended vibrators of the competition. It gets drive from the tractor PTO which must be at least 80 HP.
Self-propelled machinery, what would you recommend to producers?
We should emphasize that Sicma’s self-propelled machines are the only ones that have a road permit. They can be driven by someone with a tractor license.
The most popular machine is the B411 self-propelled vibrator, also known in the market as the “Vibrating Lizard”. Also suitable for sloping land with a slope of up to 10%. It is the ideal solution for mechanized harvesting of trees such as olives, almonds, pistachios and walnuts. It was originally created to harvest olives from the ground with the rotating brush system, but was converted into a fruit harvesting machine from the tree with the addition of a vibrating caliper arm and then with the addition of an inverted umbrella operated by mechanical tilting rods and equipped with a tank storage of the harvested fruit. Can harvest with or without an umbrella. The umbrella tank has a capacity of approximately 250 kg of product. The movement takes place on 4 wheels, the rear steering axle and its small dimensions rank it among the most agile in narrow spaces, while its telescopic arm and the hydraulic movements of the vibrating head make it easier to grip and tighten the trunk and the branches of the tree . Because our country has many mountainous fields for greater slopes, the caliper and the umbrella can be adapted to a tractor or crawler hoe.
Another good solution is the F3 self-propelled olive and acorn shaker. It can work on any ground slope. It is available in two engines of 90 kW or 103 kW. It has a system of three independent wheels that gives it comfort and easy handling, even in small spaces. The vibrating head has an automatic centering, automatic braking system. It also has double vibration speed.
There is also the MINI AGRI 26.6 which is essentially a multi-machine. It is a telescopic lifting machine perfectly adapted to narrow and difficult spaces that also features the Sicma vibrating head, suitable for harvesting olives, pine trees and fodder. It has independent 4-wheel drive as well as four-wheel steering. Once the harvest is complete, the driving machine can be combined with the full range of accessories (pallet transporter, excavator, etc.).
Financial cost plays a big role for producers, how can they have a profitable solution?
We should mention that for the specific machines their purchase can be financed by the Improvement Plans. Also, as economical solutions, I would suggest the TR80 and TR50 trailed machines and the TF80 for mounted ones, which fit on a tractor or hoe.
After the purchase of the machine will the producers be able to service?
Sicma machines are highly reliable. They are delivered to the field and we start the harvest together with the producer. They also have immediate technical support nationwide from our company’s specialized technicians, as well as our local representatives. So far, more than 100 machines have been sold throughout the country and there are no technical problems.