A fresh market tomato harvester comprises a leading knife for severing tomato plants, an inclined ascending conveyor for transporting the cut plants upwardly onto the harvester, a shaker bed for removing the tomatoes from the vines, transverse cross conveyors for receiving the tomatoes after they have been shaken from the vines and for transporting them laterally outward, longitudinally extending side sorting belts for receiving the tomatoes and transporting them rearwardly past workers who remove stems and other foreign matter as well as overripe fruit, sizing conveyors for automatically classifying the tomatoes by size and rejecting undersized tomatoes, and, optionally, a washing station for removing gummy matter and dust. The elevator carries arcuate tines, each of which is covered with surgical tubing which extends beyond the end of the metal tine to provide a resilient yielding structure. The shaker bed comprises shaker chains that are rubber coated, and further, the underlying cross conveyors are constructed with bars that are oversized and may be covered with a resilient material. In this manner, the fruit that reaches the side sorting belts has been protected from bruising. The side sorting belts are flanked by upwardly inclined sheet metal sidewalls to prevent fruit from falling off the belts and being lost. A low abrasive polyurethane strip is applied to the sidewalls so that fruit that rubs against the sidewalls is not scuffed.