04262477 is referenced by 28 patents and cites 12 patents.

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.

Title
Fresh market tomato harvester
Application Number
6/47848
Publication Number
4262477
Application Date
June 12, 1979
Publication Date
April 21, 1981
Inventor
Robert A Hanson
Roseville
CA, US
Frank A Diaz
Sacramento
CA, US
Marvin O Cufaude
Davis
CA, US
William E Turold
Woodland
CA, US
Agent
Townsend and Townsend
Assignee
Johnson Farm Machinery Co
CA, US
IPC
A01D 17/08
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