Monoboom & Bullet tree shakers
Union Gap, Washington
Cat® C3.6 and C4.4 U.S. EPA & CARB Tier 4 Final, EU Stage V Industrial Engines
N C Power Systems
Breaking into the nut-orchard machinery industry today would be tough to crack. That’s because one company in particular, Orchard-Rite, has dominated that space for three decades. Founded in 1967, Orchard-Rite is a leader in the broader orchard equipment industry and has made harvesting equipment to serve the nut market niche since 1990. The company’s innovative designs and sound engineering practices produce nut-harvesting machines – called “tree shakers” – of unparalleled quality and dependability.
Those advantages are essential to owners of professional nut orchards. They know the profitability of a crop depends, in part, on the harvesting techniques that are used. Having the right equipment is critical, which is why so many people rely on Orchard-Rite engine-powered tree shakers to ensure practical, safe and efficient crop collection.
Orchard-Rite currently manufactures two types of shakers for walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamias and pine nuts: the Monoboom and the Bullet. The industry-standard, Monoboom shaker, is the mainstay model in the lineup and performs scaffold shaking, a process that entails grabbing and shaking a tree’s branches. This model’s large size and long boom must be maneuvered carefully in order to travel from tree to tree. In contrast, the best-selling Bullet shaker is a newer, more compact model that can be driven down rows of closely-planted trees with ease, in less time and with less ground compaction.
The fact that several different types of nuts are grown professionally means there is endless opportunity to create machines specifically built to harvest each type. Consider pistachios, for example. These delicate nuts can be harmed by dropping to the ground. To prevent this from happening, Orchard-Rite is developing a new two-piece pistachio tree shaker that will be introduced in 2021. The first piece is a catching unit that gently collects falling pistachios. The second piece is a conveyor system that moves the pistachios to bins trailing behind the unit. This eliminates the need for a sweeper machine and, therefore, minimizes creation of dust that can impede air quality.
While the various Orchard-Rite tree shakers are quite different, the machines share a common feature: each is powered by a Cat® industrial engine. The Bullet and Monoboom models are powered with the Cat C4.4 engine, while each piece of the new two-piece shaker will be powered with a Cat C3.6 engine.
In a nutshell, collaboration is key. The close alliance between Orchard-Rite and Caterpillar began in 2006. By the following year, Caterpillar had helped Orchard-Rite equip its entire shaker product line with Cat engines, expertly maximizing engine horsepower to support each shaker’s hydraulics. One of the company’s main reasons for working with Caterpillar was the need to adapt to changing emissions regulations. Caterpillar had the broad emissions expertise and experience that Orchard-Rite required. In fact, Cat dealer, N C Power Systems, has helped Orchard-Rite navigate several complex emission changes over the years, while also facilitating application and engineering processes to make the company’s products compliant.
The kernel of kinship. Caterpillar’s focus on quality was another deciding factor. Tim Price, Orchard-Rite Division Manager, says his team appreciates how Caterpillar’s manufacturing standards match their own standards. “Cat engines are high quality from top to bottom, just like our machines,” he states. “We have visited the facilities where our engines are made, and we’re impressed by everything they do, including how they pour their own castings and perform the machining.”
Tim also points out another similarity: both Caterpillar and Orchard-Rite are dedicated companies that provide service and support throughout the life of their products. That’s a significant selling point that is profoundly meaningful to Orchard-Rite customers.
See what other Cat industrial engine customers have to say about our engines and related products, and the support they receive from the Cat dealer network.