Exact Harvesting, an innovator of nut harvesting equipment, always strives to be on the cutting edge of technology.
With deep roots in California's orchard industry, Exact Harvesting builds nut harvesters, tree shakers, sweepers, and conditioners - machines "built by farmers for farmers." The company continually looks for new technologies to make orchard operations more productive, safe, and profitable. "The desire to do something different, to do something better - and to make our customers as efficient as possible - has always been a focus for us," says Nelson Tye, Exact Harvesting's engineering manager.
After years manufacturing tow-behind harvesters, Exact Harvesting recently introduced its latest innovation, the E7000 self-propelled harvester.
A longtime customer of John Deere industrial engines, Exact Harvesting had been powering its previous models with Interim Tier 4/Stage III B engines. The company's recent product launch coincides with the transition to Final Tier 4 emissions standards. On the E7000, a PowerTech™ PSL 4.5L industrial engine powers all of the hydraulic functions, including the ground drive, fan, and conveyor chain motors.
Tye admits he was "assuming the worst" as Exact Harvesting prepared to transition to Final Tier 4 emissions standards. After all, the harvester is a low-profile machine with limited space for engines. "We have to make our machines as small as possible, so in turn, we really need the engine package to be small. That's a big deal for us as a manufacturer of orchard equipment."
Fortunately, Tye's initial concerns were calmed, thanks to the engineering ingenuity of Western Power Products - a company with a deep knowledge of the agricultural industry and the needs of its OEMs and local growers. "I gave Western Power models of our engine compartments from our Interim Tier 4 machines and pretty much asked them to 'fit it as close to this as you can.'"
Western Power Products went to work. Collaborating with Tye and his team, the John Deere engine distributor developed a complete power unit and designed and fabricated custom mounting brackets and exhaust piping. "Everything about the engine package is completely customized for us," says Tye.
"Western Power shifted the location of the air filter and canisters and fabricated the necessary piping. We received a package that was very compact and fit how we wanted it. We were concerned about where we would locate the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) tank. But because of its small size, we were able to easily position the tank right behind the engine enclosure."
Subtle size difference
"Not only where we transitioning to Final Tier 4 emissions regulations, but we also went up to a bigger engine, and we barely had to adjust the size of our engine compartment," continues Tye. "The most we had to expand our engine compartment in any direction was 1 or 2 inches.
At the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, customers were looking at our sweeper and asking us when we're going to switch to Final Tier 4 emissions compliance, and we're like, 'That is the Final Tier 4 engine.' They just weren't expecting to see it that small."
Tye applauds Western Power Products for making the transition to Final Tier 4 a painless process. "I really can't say enough about the work Western Power did on our Tier 4 engine packages. We were just able to tell them what we wanted and what changes we wanted, and they just took it and went with it. If we would have had to try and figure out the design and all the requirements that go along with that, it would have taken a huge toll on our staff."
The Final Tier 4 engines are performing well in the field, too. "They hit the field and ran as good or better than our IT4 machines. It made me feel like we met - if not exceeded - our customers' expectations with our Final Tier 4 package."
If we would have had to try and figure out the design and all the requirements that go along with that, it would have taken a huge toll on our staff.