The only company in the UK to build the Field Factory continual harvesting system has manufactured its first rubber track machine.
Vegetable Harvesting Systems (VHS) at Quadring has engineered a 35-tonne Field Factory for harvesting celery for Gorehall Produce Ltd in Lancashire.
VHS managing director Mel Burrell said 12 operators would work within the header. The produce is pulled out of the ground, trimmed, placed on the conveyor which takes it though a saw, a washer and dryer before it is put in labelled plastic sleeves. It then goes into supermarket trays and is delivered straight to the store.
Mel said: “That machine is the first rubber track we have built and the ground pressure of the machine is nearly zero. It’s looking after the ground.”
VHS – whose parent company is MBE Fabrications Ltd – has been building farming equipment since 1985 and employs about 50 people on its four-acre site, including apprentices.
The company manufactures two or three units a year, historically using JCB running gear.
It has another machine ready to go out to customer G’s Growers Ltd at Ely, a wheeled Field Factory for harvesting Chinese leaf, equipment that has become more sophisticated over the years.
Mel said: “It’s a team effort and they are cracking bits of kit. We are the only people to build these Field Factories.”