Cracking the problem for nut and fruit growers

Porter ETUV hand-picked Perkins to help it develop a productive new tractor that would exceed the needs of orchard growers working in densely-planted spaces.

Growing and maintaining nut and fruit orchards requires a special kind of machine. With trees planted in densely-packed rows, and low branches to avoid, machinery must be low-profile, have nimble steering and deliver reliable power that ensures vital jobs are done – problem-free.

One manufacturer with a great reputation for building orchard-ready machines is Porter ETUV, based in Philomath, Oregon. When it began to plan its latest generation of machinery, the company listened closely to what orchard owners and operators really wanted from a tractor. 

After five years of research and development, with Perkins providing support at every step, the company launched its breakthrough machine, the Orchard Boss Generation 2 Tractor.

Cracking the problem for nut and fruit growers

Optimised for orchards

Central to the machine’s design is its unique size and shape, which make it an ideal choice for high-density orchard plantings. The tractor’s low profile and responsive steering make it agile and maneuverable, so jobs like spraying, sweeping and mowing become easier and more efficient. With a height of just 67 inches, the tractor also has minimum impact on low-hanging branches.

From the earliest planning stages, Porter knew how important it was to find the right engine solution, one with enough power to pull and operate numerous heavy attachments for harvesting and maintenance, which would also perform dependably with competitive running costs.

Porter turned to Perkins Pacific, its local Perkins distributor, for support. From day one, Perkins Pacific’s application engineers and sales team worked directly with Porter to ensure the new Orchard Boss had a powerful and cost-effective power system, and that the machine met the required emissions standards, operating targets and temperature goals. 

“Our team always works closely with OEMs, from design through production, to provide creative solutions to their equipment power system needs,” said Andy Machin, vice president of Perkins Pacific. “This allows us to help OEMs improve performance and emissions outcomes for their equipment.”

Meeting growers’ unique needs

As a result of the companies’ close collaboration, the new Orchard Boss is powered by a 93 kW (125 hp) Perkins® 1100 Series engine. It’s a bespoke solution delivered by Perkins engineers that achieves the unique performance needed by growers. The engine gives the new tractor very quiet and reliable performance – and great fuel economy.

Perkins Pacific also supported the business with onsite testing and adoption of the engine. By evaluating its performance ahead of production, we reassured Porter that the Orchard Boss really does exceed operators’ expectations.

Jason Misner, principal of Porter ETUV, said: “Working with Perkins Pacific has been a great experience. We are proud to have Perkins Pacific as our engine provider. When others said ‘no’, Perkins Pacific stepped up and provided us with a great engine for our needs. Since then, we have grown into a great team and I look forward to a promising future.”

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