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A multifunction straddle towed frame for the cultivation of goblet vineyards

Schillaci, G., Bonsignore, R., Caruso, L., Cerruto, E., Romano, E.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.978 pp. 377-384
field experimentation, mechanization, pesticides, runoff, soil management, tractors, vineyards
Through the redesign of a pre-prototype, a multi-purpose machine able to mechanize some of the main cultural operations concerning goblet vineyards was developed. The research led to the building of a pre-industrial prototype called “Portale scavallante multifunzione trainato” (Pulled Multi-Purpose Straddle Frame) [Enama, Innovative machines 2009], still in need of tests and implementations. The present paper describes the machine and the in field tests that have confirmed its functionality. The machine has the advantage of being towed by a common narrow-track tractor and that several commercially available tools can be easily applied to it. The straddle configuration is able to provide stability to the whole machine and double the work front as regards operations such as trimming and soil management along and in between rows. The tools applied are effective to ensure good work speed and safety level during cultivation activities. In particular, the two frontal feeler pins and the drawbar (jointed and fitted with a double effect hydraulic cylinder) keep the frame in the desired trajectory and maintain it correctly aligned during the progress while riding the row. The results obtained with the tunnel sprayer system for pesticide spreading have confirmed the validity of the technical choices as concerns off-target losses (as drift and run-off on the ground) and volume per ha reduction. The trials in field have confirmed that the characteristics of the machine allow for an effective mechanization of goblet vineyards. Looking ahead, research will continue with further development of the frame prototype and first trials on spurred cordon vineyard are already started.