Apples, everyone has their favourite. We know they keep the doctor away, or at least that is what we used to be told, and we tend to get quite picky when we choose which ones we want from the supermarket or going on apple picking trips with your family for a day out. We know they are grown in orchards. But how they are picked is now changing. Instead of hand-picked we are turning to machines to help us gather one of our favourite fruits. But is hand picking dead? Or is it still viable?

Hand Picking

For as long as we can remember, people have hand picked apples with care as they need to be placed into picking bags to avoid bruising the fruit. This is made more difficult when the ladders are involved to be able to get an elevated position, to be able to pick the apples at the top of the trees. As now the picker not only has to worry about removing the apples so they don’t get damaged while ensuring they are placed into the picking bags carefully. But now have the added worry of doing all this while keeping their balance on the ladder. Though this technique can be improved upon over time. Once the picking bag is full they are then placed into crates or bins where they can be bruised again if not placed in there with care.

apple picking

The speed of this process is entirely based on the speed and skill of the individual picker. Even though apples can last a while off the tree, the quicker at the right maturity obviously is better for not only the apple but the consumer at the end. 

Machine Experienced

One of the biggest improvements that machine harvesters give to apple picking is that it allows multi-users to use it at the ground level and top level of the tree simultaneously. While allowing the pickers to place apples from the tree straight into the conveyor belts to be fed into the crates, rather than placing them in picking bags. Removing not only a step but an added weight for the pickers to carry. while also reduced the damage done to the apples, from being picked off the tree to being placed into the crates. 

Using these devices also allows inexperienced pickers to work at the same speed as more experienced ones. While being able to focus on only their technique, and not worry about climbing on ladders or bruising the apples when placing them in a bag on their back.

Red apple in water

Another benefit these machines have is the ability to use them for pruning whether in summer or winter or helping with the installation and maintenance of hail nets. The Tecno fruit machine is an all year round orchard tool/ machine.

So while manual harvesting of apples may never go away altogether, fruit harvesting efficiency can be greatly increased with the use of the Tecno fruit harvesters, allowing the people to gain higher output (apples picked per person per day), while reducing damage to the apples. And at the end of the day, giving the customer the best quality apples to choose from is our goal.