Mechanically harvesting peppers with a Pik Rite harvester.

Mechanically harvesting peppers


Mechanically harvesting peppers can add value to your operation. It is a safer, more efficient and more predictable way to harvest your crop in a timely manner. When using a machine you’ll be able to assess your production capacity allowing the grower and the processor to plan accordingly. It also brings a level of assurance to the grower and the processor, knowing that the harvester will work all day to harvest the crop. In addition to peppers, the Pik Rite harvester is used to harvest many other vegetable crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and pumpkins. From the processor standpoint, it brings accuracy and efficiency to the goals that they need to meet on a daily, weekly and overall season level. Mechanical harvesting can also ease the burden of inaccuracies that hand harvest entails by removing the attitude and personal opinion of the people that are in the field. It is as selective of the crop being harvested and the quality of the crop being harvested as you set it to be.
History has seen many changes in the evolution of mechanical harvesting. Changes include better methods of removing foreign material, removing off-color fruit, increased capacity, and owner/operator education and operational improvements. Seasonally every crop has its own set of challenges that define it as it is growing. The mature product can harvest totally different from one season to the next (although the same variety). Sometimes the harvest conditions are so dynamic that it changes from the morning to the afternoon. The manufacturer is always challenged to accommodate different operating parameters and design new innovative features. Communication with the growers and operators of the equipment is imperative for the manufacturer.
One of the most important aspects of the successful mechanical harvest of any vegetable crop is the genetics of the crop. Genetics have a significant impact on quality and yield. Genetic improvements allow mechanical harvesters to provide a raw product to the processor that is superior to that of hand-harvested product. When harvesting with a machine the custom is a single harvest. Therefore you want to have as much of the product mature at the same time as possible to increase your maximum yield potential.
As a manufacturer of vegetable harvesting equipment, we have learned that many of the same harvesting methods such as cleaning, color sorting, removing the product from the vines and many cultural practices can be used for multiple crops. We have applied many of these techniques to the harvesters that our customers are using.  To have success in mechanical harvesting, teamwork is essential, from the farm and field laborer to the processor. Ultimately the processor will see a better product when they make the transition from hand harvest to machine harvest creating a positive experience.
As we look to the future of the global market, mechanical harvesting is the only viable alternative for the grower and the processor as well. This is not limited to processing crops. There is great potential for mechanical harvesting of fresh market vegetables as well. Recently, we have seen significant expansion in digital farming technology. Pik Rite, Inc. is currently incorporating this technology into our harvesting equipment.  Our growers and processors are realizing the benefits of digital farming. This technology is currently used for planting, cultivating and harvesting. There are also benefits for yield monitoring, quality control and accurate loads.
In the present and future, Pik Rite is committed to both the grower and the processor. Our passion is to build simple, quality equipment and help make the transition to mechanical harvest a positive and profitable experience.

Click here to see the Pik Rite 190 Pepper Harvester in operation!

For more information about Pik Rite pepper harvesters contact Kevin Baker by email [] or call 800-326-9763.





Hoses & Fittings

Hoses and fittingsEvery day you pull a hose, connect fittings, pump a tank. Handling hoses and fittings quickly become second nature to the pumper operator. These tools that you use every day are the factors that make each pumping job a joy or a headache. Here are some considerations to make your daily tasks run more smoothly.

The position of the hose hooks on your tank will make a big difference in the ergonomics of your daily routine. Tank manufacturers set up their trucks differently with some tanks having very high hooks. You may consider having the hooks lowered to make handling your hoses more ergonomically friendly. This will also decrease your job site time and offer a safer environment for you and your employees.

Cleanliness of your hoses is an important consideration. Cleaning your hoses at every job site usually only involves a fresh water tank on your truck or a borrowed garden hose from your customer.  Clean hoses are easier to handle and will prevent waste leakage from site to site. Camlock fittings should also be cleaned to allow for proper function and ease of attachment.

Camlock fittings will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. The stiff hoses usually make this a challenge and demand a lot of effort. There are various ideas of the best way to put on a new fitting (some of which can be very dangerous). Pik Rite Inc. has developed a simple hose clamping mechanism that forces a new fitting on with ease. Tools like this can take a lot of frustration out of these common duties.

Make sure to replace your hoses and fittings when they begin to show signs of wear. High-pressure equipment cannot be trusted when it is worn out and will place you and your employees in unnecessary danger. There are a variety of options when shopping for new hoses and fittings. Stainless steel fittings are more expensive up front but will last longer and need to be replaced less frequently.

To sum it up, you handle your hoses and fittings often enough to consider small ways to make your day run more smoothly. Ergonomics, safety, and efficiency will all pay off in the long run!

Kent Engle -Pik Rite, Inc.


Pik Rite manufactures and services commercial vacuum tanks, hoist units, roll-offs, slide-ins, portable toilet service units and tank trailers ranging in size from 300 to 6,500 gallons. Our 15-year steel tank warranty sets us apart from the competition. Tanks are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Kent is the marketing coordinator at Pik Rite, Inc. Follow our blog posts at Call 800-326-9763 for any service and maintenance needs or to get a quote on a new tank!