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Open AccessArticle

A Study of the Lateral Stability of Self-Propelled Fruit Harvesters

CREA Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processingvia Milano 43, 24047 Treviglio, Italy
Politecnico di Milano Department of Mechanical Engineering, via La Masa 1, 20156 Milan, Italy
National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, Institute for Agricultural and Earthmoving Machines (IMAMOTER), Strada delle Cacce, 73, 10135 Torino, Italy
INAIL, Dipartimento Innovazioni Tecnologiche e Sicurezza degli Impianti, Prodotti e Insediamenti Antropici (DITSIPIA), P.le Pastore 6, 00144 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2017, 7(11), 92;
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
Self-propelled fruit harvesters (SPFHs) are agricultural machines designed to facilitate fruit picking and other tasks requiring operators to stay close to the foliage or to the upper part of the canopy. They generally consist of a chassis with a variable height working platform that can be equipped with lateral extending platforms. The positioning of additional masses (operators, fruit bins) and the maximum height of the platform (up to three meters above the ground) strongly affect machine stability. Since there are no specific studies on the lateral stability of SPFHs, this study aimed to develop a specific test procedure to fill this gap. A survey of the Italian market found 20 firms manufacturing 110 different models of vehicles. Observation and monitoring of SPFHs under real operational conditions revealed the variables mostly likely to affect lateral stability: the position and mass of the operators and the fruit bin on the platform. Two SPFHs were tested in the laboratory to determine their centre of gravity and lateral stability in four different settings reproducing operational conditions. The test setting was found to affect the stability angle. Lastly, the study identified two specific settings reproducing real operational conditions most likely to affect the lateral stability of SPFHs: these should be used as standard, reproducible settings to enable a comparison of results. View Full-Text
Keywords: safety; tiltable platform; rollover angle; agriculture safety; tiltable platform; rollover angle; agriculture
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Cutini, M.; Brambilla, M.; Bisaglia, C.; Melzi, S.; Sabbioni, E.; Vignati, M.; Cavallo, E.; Laurendi, V. A Study of the Lateral Stability of Self-Propelled Fruit Harvesters. Agriculture 2017, 7, 92.

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