patent number 4199913
Orchard fruit handling apparatus for conveying and delivering harvested fruit into a plurality of storage bins comprising a first conveyor for adjustable attachment to a conventional farm tractor for receiving and transporting fruit received thereon in a generally linear direction rearwardly of the tractor, and trailer means for attachment to the tractor containing a second conveyor for receiving harvested fruit from the first conveyor and selectively directing the fruit into a plurality of storage bins carried on the trailer. A plurality of deflecting blades or bars are selectively positionable across the second conveyor to selectively intercept and deflect the fruit into corresponding bin filler mechanisms located along the side of the second conveyor and above corresponding collection bins. Each bin filler mechanism forms a sinuous passageway for gravitationally directing the fruit downwardy into a collection bin and is vertically positionable to maintain its lower fruit discharge outlet at the upper level of the fruit being collected in the storage bin. The trailer is provided with means for gravitationally discharging the filled fruit storage bins on to the ground at a central location in the orchard, and the orchard fruit handling apparatus is powered by connection to the hydraulic and electrical systems of the conventional farm tractor.
Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
53/248, 53/391, 56/16.6, 56/327.1, 56/328.1