15 January 2019

Good olive year

This year's olive harvest was supposed to be record-breaking, but it remained simply in a good year. After such a catastrophic previous year (2017), this year looked very good and finally it was. The result of our 132 olive trees in production was 5,000kg (38kg/olive) with an average fatty performance of 17.1%. The performance has been quite low because our yield is usually over 21%, so this year we have not met expectations. We found another problem in the mill because the performance meter was new... so we don't want to rely on the meter badly calibrated that day, because even a friend got 14.9% with the variety Cornicabra olive, which seems almost impossible. The year has not been a record-breaking year because with regard to the quantity of olive trees, we have a mark in 6,000kg and with regard to the fatty performance it is 23.4%.

The two harvesting days were full of fun. The weather was sunny and there was no wind which is always a problem to work with canvas and also this year we had help. We hired a crew of four workers who helped us. The price was about 0.20€/kg of olive harvested. As you can see in the pictures, there were two people with two Sthil olive harvesters (a hook SP 451 olive harvester and a comb SP 90 olive harvester) and two others changing the canvases (working three rows of olives at the same time). One of us was in charge of removing the branches before downloading the olives in the frontloader of the tractor and another one of us was in charge of being with the tractor to put the olives into the trailer... A perfect teamwork!

Now it is time to do the post-harvest treatments and wait to rain so that the olive trees can have the reserves full again before the pruning that will be in March.

Versión en español.

31 December 2018

Wear and tear of tyres

When this past August we were in Germany for the "Fendt Field Day 2018" we got very impressed by the machine they had shown to make the parallel of the tires in tractors... something very similar that is done daily in cars. After talking with our friend José Miñarro (from ATG Tire - Alliance), he explained us some concepts that we are summarizing below and that are always very useful when you want to care tractor tires. 

Many times we see how the front wheels of our tractors do not wear evenly and one part of the cue wastes faster than another. The causes that originate this wear are multiple and diverse but we can be sure that the reason is not the lack quality of the tire. It is not possible to manufacture a tyre with one part softer than the other because the rubber of the tread is completely homogeneous and has the same hardness in all the blocks and in all its extension. So, what causes the irregular wear? This is more difficult to determine, but we can give some tips.

When tyres are diagonal (not radial), it is normal for them to be rounded when inflated and for the tread to rest more in the centre than on the sides. In these cases the cue will be worn more through the center of the wheel, but in short it will be a homogeneous wear, but more pronounced in the central part.

When tyres are radial, if all is well, they should support evenly with a flatter footprint. If there is irregular wear in this case, first check whether the inflation pressures are correct for each use, in general they must be high for transportation and low for traction work in the field. Secondly, it is necessary to check the alignment of the front axle as it is possible that with time, the spherical plain bearings take some play and the parallel of the front tires are deformed, causing the wheels do not support properly and there is irregular wear of the blocks.

To measure the alignment there are more or less rudimentary methods that go well to correct an excessive deviation, but that nevertheless can't refine with an accuracy of millimeter. For this there are precision instruments that allow us to correct to the last millimeter and set the correct parallel, as you can see in our pictures.

Other causes that also influence irregular wear are derived from the different uses of the tractor. Water ballasts, the use of front loaders, the number and arrangement of tyre blocks, excessive use on the road, among other reasons can have a very negative influence on the regular wear of the tyre.

We would like to wish you a happy new year 2019. See you soon!!!

Versión en español.