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Volvo Penta powers MTS-Sandei's latest tomato harvester

Volvo Penta is supplying an 8-litre engine for agricultural specialist manufacturer MTS-Sandei, for its latest tomato harvester

With a capacity of 80 tonnes per hour, the OEM’s new THV 800 model is the largest yet for the Italian company.

Created to meet the industry demand for a higher capacity machine, the THV 800 will be powered by Volvo Penta’s eight-litre TAD871VE engine. The machine has been successfully field-tested by some of MTS-Sandei’s customers and will be previewed at EIMA International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Exhibition in Bologna, before its official launch in 2017.

“This is an exciting time for us to produce a new high capacity tomato harvester and to satisfy our customers’ demands. Our THV 800 is one of the biggest on the global market and we believe it will be a market leader,” says Andrea Zanoli, research and development and operations manager at MTS-Sandei.

The THV 800 has some components that are wider than on previous models, allowing for a higher intake and passage of tomatoes, and therefore a greater capacity per hour. The self-propelling machine feeds its crops into a trailer towed by a tractor, and has been designed to work for 24 hours per day, every day throughout the harvesting season which typically lasts for around 90 days.

The machine implements mechanical procedures through optical sorters to harvest fruits, soil and stones until the fruit alone are finally placed cleanly in sections into the trailer. The THV 800 can be customised with a range of attachments to suit the customer’s needs and can also be altered to harvest strawberries, peppers and cucumbers.

 “The machine is strong and robust in order to work continuously, but also needs to be sensitive enough to handle such delicate vegetables,” adds Zanoli.

Volvo Penta’s TAD871VE is an eight-litre Stage IV/Tier 4 Final diesel engine, which uses SCR instead of a diesel particulate filter for emissions control, resulting in a compact engine that is easy to maintain. A common-rail injection system and the ability of the engine to produce high torque at low rpm reduce noise and fuel consumption, thereby reducing emissions.

“For perishable crops such as tomatoes, having low exhaust emissions is very important,” says Giacomo Mondini, Volvo Penta’s sales manager, Italy. “MTS-Sandei, like us, has an ethos of caring for the environment, and we have spent a lot of time in research and development to make our products as eco-friendly as possible.