Finding quality used potato harvesters and planters is not difficult if you know where to look and are prepared to put in the time necessary to research these machines. Large, complex and highly specialised, a potato harvester is typically a trailed affair that must be hitched to a tractor, although there are self-powered models with integrated cabs which can operate independent of other equipment.
Smaller machines can tackle a single row of potatoes at a time, making them ideal for covering compact sites, while larger models will have greater working widths to improve productivity on big farms. Used potato harvesters from manufacturers such as Grimme and Sanden are available in good working order.
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Potato harvesters are different to other harvesting machinery because they need to uproot a crop that nestles beneath the soil, rather than protruding above it. And so they are longer and thinner than combine units designed to harvest grains. They are also often wheel driven, with hydraulic circuits helping to move the potatoes along the assembly once they have been collected, allowing them to be passed on to a storage hopper or separate truck. Some models will feature integrated processing tools that allow potatoes to be cleaned and crushed immediately, which may help boost the effectiveness of the machine in certain scenarios.
Modern standalone potato harvesters with integrated engines and cabs for the operator to occupy will be costlier than trailed units, but obviously have certain unique benefits. You can find things like working lights, integrated camera systems and rugged, heavy duty components on these models. And because the price range of potato harvesters, planters and pickers is so varied, operators of all kinds should be able to invest in this type of agricultural machinery. Whatever the asking price, a potato harvester should be seen to be in a well maintained condition.
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