What Is That Giant Robot Looking Machine Outside Clinton Tractor?
If you've driven past Clinton Tractor on Meadow Street lately you may have been perplexed by one of the implements parked out front. It was just delivered over the weekend and has everyone talking.
Some say it resembles a combine for harvesting grain, but this particular machine harvests something a little sweeter. In introducing this piece of equipment into their lineup has become the exclusive dealer and service provider of the grape harvester. This technology from New Holland combines the originality of Braud to make the delicate process of grape collecting for vineyards seamless and efficient.
Technical Service Manager Brad Boice is one of the Clinton Tractor representatives that traveled to Paris, France over the last year two times to learn more about this machine and what it is capable of. Boice says, "The experience was a way for Clinton Tractor to see the hands on process of building the unit from the base up as well. It also gave us the opportunity to talk with the most experienced personnel on the unit."
Priced at anywhere between $300,000 and $400,000 these harvesters are mass produced in France, but here in America they are more rare of a find. The machine effectively drives over the vines without disturbing them and shakes the grapes off the vine. It then collects the grapes into the 'Noria' system which is a series of polyurethane baskets and moves them into a system that vacuums the leaves and branches off the grape and collects them neatly into two separate stainless steel hoppers. The technical terms and names for the devices within the machine are plenty, but just know this thing is one of a kind.
Trip To Paris, France
Before Clinton Tractor brought this into their fold of products, vineyards in the Eastern United States would have to rely on service technicians and dealers on the West Coast, in California. Now, with the knowledge and training gained by the Clinton Tractor staff, the local agricultural business is the exclusive dealer in the Northeast, a huge accomplishment for the family owned and operated business from Clinton, NY.
Greg Calidonna is the Sales Manager at Clinton Tractor. In an article written for New Holland Magazine Calidonna talks about what this addition could mean to the local agricultural market. "We believe the vineyard market will be growing in the future as farm wineries are popping up around the area." He goes on to say that several of those wineries would typically buy their grapes from a larger vineyard. By growing and harvesting their own grapes, it will only help them make a better overall product. After talking with customers Calidonna also says, "We believe New Holland has the best harvester on the market and we look forward to selling it."
The sophistication of the Grape Harvester is truly amazing as it can tackle any terrain with ease. In France especially, several vineyards on grown on rolling hills. The hydraulic system built into the Braud allows for the 4 tires to adjust to any height simultaneously while maintaining the integrity of the vine being driven over and the grapes collected. The wonders of technology and science in agriculture continue to amaze.
This addition to the Clinton Tractor lineup continues to add to the list of things putting the Mohawk Valley region on the map and an addition that will make winemakers and ultimately wine drinkers very happy. Within the next few years you may sip from a glass of wine that Clinton Tractor has some small hand in making, which is pretty awesome.