My date palm post yesterday reminded me of the AgriTech exhibition in Tel Aviv back in 2012.
These "clam shell" platforms are part of big pruning/picking towers.
Enlarge the photo: the posters demonstrate the machines' work.
The biggest model, AF-20, boasts a working height of about 70 ft (21.5 meters) and a load capacity of 1,500 lb (700 kg)!
Here is how the Israeli manufacturer, Afron, describes it:
The Afron family of pruning / picking towers include models specifically designed for date trees. Afron date tree models are designed for date trees from 25 feet (7.5 meters) up to 65 feet (20 meters) in height.Further technical details are here.
All Afron date tree models include a “clam shell” type operator platform that is designed to encircle the date tree trunk. This provides full access to the date tree canopy for several workers.
Not only can Afron date tree models be used for picking and pruning, but also include optional attachments for spraying and mechanical harvesting through the use of a shaker head.
All functions of the tower can be controlled by a single operator on the operators platform.
Next time you eat sweet dates, give a thought to the workers who were way up there picking them for you.
There is also a nice story about Lisa Solomon, the date plantation manager at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava, in Israel's south.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)