In today’s article, I’ll talk about olive tree shakers and if you need them or not for your olive grove.
- Olive tree shaking machines significantly speed up harvesting, particularly for large farms.
- Types range from simple rope shakers for small growers to advanced all-in-one machines for large operations.
- These machines reduce the need for manual labor, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
- Investment in a tree shaker should consider farm size, labor costs, and overall profitability.
What Are Olive Tree Shaking Machines?
Olive tree shaking machines are specific machines olive growers use when harvesting olive trees. These machines can speed up the harvesting process up a lot. Also, olive growers can save some money on workers by using these machines since they need fewer of them.
Also, farmers can use most of these machines to harvest other cultures too. They’re not limited to olives only.
How Do These Machines Work?
Tree shaking machines work by vibrating the tree at high frequencies so that all the fruits fall from the tree. These machines usually shake the tree trunk, which is reflected throughout the whole tree.
Not all of these machines work exactly the same, but the main principle is identical – shake the tree, so all the fruit falls off the branches. I’ll discuss several types of tree-shaking machines below, so make sure to check them out.
Main Types of Tree Shaking Machines
There are different types of tree shaking machine:
- Rope shaking machines
- Smaller tree shaking machines with spider web
- Giant tree shaking machines that both shake the tree, collect the olives and store them into the containers
There are also many variations of these three main types. There are many different manufacturers, and each machine uses similar yet different harvesting techniques.
I’ll now shortly describe each machine and how it works.
1. Cable/Rope Shaking Machines
The smallest type of tree shaking machines are the ones that use a rope or cable to shake the tree. They work by connecting the machine to a tractor, tying the rope to the tree, and turning it on. Then, it will shake the tree by pulling the rope at a high pace.
Rope shaking machines are an excellent tool for smaller olive growers who want to speed up olive harvesting. However, if you plan on using them, you must have a tractor or some similar machine.
2. Tree Shaking Machines With Spider Webs
Another type of tree shaking machines are the ones that have both the shaker and the harvesting net. You just park the device under the tree, open the trap, lean the shaker to the tree trunk, and it will start shaking the tree.
All the fruits will fall into the harvesting net (spider web) and stay there for easier transport to containers or bags. Some better machines can shake close to 100 trees per hour. How many people would you need to do that? It’s just insane.
3. Giant Trailed Tree Shaking Machines
Giant trailed tree shaking machines are all-in-one tools that only extremely large olive growers use. These machines do everything from shaking the tree, installing traps (mostly tarpaulins), separating olives from leaves and dirt, and storing olives into containers for further processing.
These machines can only work in large olive farms that have enough space for this machine to turn around and connect to trees. Out of all three types, giant tree shaking machines are the quickest to harvest olive trees, but they’re the most expensive ones.
Also, some giant machines like this CV5045 go over the olive trees and then harvest fruits. So, as I already told you, not all machines are the same. There are tons of variations.
Prices of Tree Shaking Machines
I have reached out to a few companies to get approximate prices for tree shaking machines, and here I’ll share what they answered to me. It was hard to get the price because they don’t show the prices online, you have to contact them and then they make a specific offer based on your needing. However, here’s the price info.
The rope shaker is the cheapest option, and if you have a tractor, you should consider buying it. It usually costs around $1500.
Olive tree shaker with spider web by Sicma (check it here) is in the middle, it could cost around $65,000 plus shipping to the US, which is around $2,000.
A fully automatic tree shaker machine by Munckhof (check it here) is the most expensive one, and the company told me it costs around $156,000, plus shipping to the US. And they don’t arrange shipping, a buyer has to take care of that.
Of course, with farm support programs, you might be able to buy these machines cheaper – actually, that’s the way most farmers buy them. So, make sure to check all the conditions before purchasing anything.
Should You Get Tree Shaking Machine For Your Olive Farm?
The main question is, should you get a tree shaking machine for your olive farm? The answer is that it depends.
It depends on how many olive trees you’re harvesting each year. If you’re having problems finding olive pickers for each harvest period, and it’s just too much work, you may want to buy some of these machines.
However, you need to take profitability into account. As you can see above, tree shaking machines can be extremely expensive, and the question is, when will they bring profit to you.
Don’t forget that you’ll have to go through some education for some of those machines since they’re not all very easy to work with. So, you can’t let anyone work on them. They could screw things up.
There’s no doubt; olive tree shaking machines are fantastic products that can help speed up the olive harvesting process a lot.
Whether you need a tree shaking machine or not – you’re the only one who knows the answer. The biggest question you should ask yourself is, “will that bring me more profit?”. If the answer is no, you shouldn’t get an olive tree shaking machine.
I always suggest using electric tree harvesters for small to medium olive growers – they’re cheap, anyone can work with them, and they’ll speed up the harvesting process a lot.