ORTOMEC head lettuce harvesters: the best solutions for an optimal work

Today more than ever the need of the agricultural world is to mechanize itself. Labor is increasingly difficult to find and the cost is constantly increasing.

Harvesting vegetables by hand is slow and tiring and machines can help companies increase their profitability.

A mechanical harvest and carrying all the cleaning and packing work on the machine are the most important aspects that have made the world of ORTOMEC harvesting machines evolve. Thanks to them, in fact, the work of the operator who cleans and puts the already cut product in boxes is less burdensome and more comfortable. The operator is working in an upright position aboard a machine that can be equipped with a roof and screen and therefore not crouched on the ground and not a victim of atmospheric agents. This system of work can only increase the working income of the worker.

Thanks to these features offered by Ortomec harvesters, the mechanical harvesting market is expanding rapidly: we know below which are the best solutions that can be found on Ortomec’s head salad harvesters.

How does ORTOMEC harvester work?

The ORTOMEC head salad harvester is equipped with an oscillating blade that moves from left to right at high speed, cutting the salad heads with care and precision. The latest generation electronic proportional sensors, managed by a PLC card, allow the machine to perfectly maintain the level and cutting point required by the operator following the course of the ground. With this precision and technology, it is possible to harvest salads produced even on mulched soils / beds.

The salad heads, once cut, are then transported by the belt with rubber nails on the upper part of the machine, where the control, cleaning and packing of the product will take place. To facilitate the harvesting of particularly heavy or round lettuce such as the ICEBERG, Ortomec has introduced a new accessory. It is a rubber chain which is positioned on the collection head and works parallel to the main collection belt. This chain, maintaining the same rotation speed of the main belt, accompanies the cut product towards the top of the machine, thus avoiding the tufts from rolling towards the lower part of the collection head.

What happens to the product in the upper part of the ORTOMEC harvester?

When the salad reaches the top of the machine after being cut, it can follow two different paths:

  1. It can be destined to a side trailer by means of a hydraulic belt where it is placed in containers, then managed in the warehouse.
  2. The process of the equipment set up as a cleaning area follows.

A team of 6-8 people receives the product on an inspection belt and cleans it, leaving the dirt and defective heads on the belt itself, which will then end up on the ground thanks to a hopper placed at the end of the belt itself and mounted on a discharge hole of the main platform. The operator puts the clean product into boxes that are transported to the rear via a hydraulic belt. Here, the pallet is composed directly on the rear forklift (hydraulic lift) and once completed it will be unloaded on the ground. At the end of the collection process, you will have a clean and ready-to-sell product, while all the dirt remains in the field, avoiding taking it to the company’s warehouses.

What is the yield of the ORTOMEC harvester?

Thanks to the various tests carried out and the testimonies of Ortomec customers who are already using these harvesters, it can be said that it is possible to obtain a pallet of product in less than 10min. Manual harvesting requires more staff giving lower yields. A team of 18 people (considering those with tractors, people who move the crates, etc.) manages to harvest 52 pallets in 8 hours; with the harvester, a team of 8-10 people is enough to collect 48. An indisputably higher yield that will allow the company to amortize the investment of the harvesting machine in a very short time.

What are the Ortomec head lettuce harvester models?

Ortomec harvesters are machines equipped with platforms that can range from approximately 25-30 m2. The main models are the 8300 wheeled harvester and the 9000 tracked harvester.

These harvesters work with any type of head salad regardless of shape and size. To work to their full potential, excellent soil preparation and excellent transplantation are required, thus ensuring that the tufts are all placed at the same level.

The operational space of the harvesters can be customized according to the customer’s needs. Ortomec’s technical department and the experience accumulated over the years are available to the customer to satisfy all requests. It is possible to equip the machines with a roof for shelter from the sun or bad weather and with windproof curtains. They are also equipped with headlights so that the machine can work in low light or dark conditions, taking advantage of all hours of the day. Through the automatic driving and Cruise Control system, the driver of the machine has the possibility and time to control the operators and their work and thanks to the touch screen is also able to interact with the machine in an easy and fast way.


The needs of the current market are increasingly challenging and the trend towards mechanization is ever greater. Ortomec head lettuce harvesters allow you to optimize harvesting times, favoring comfortable and functional working conditions for operators. These elements favor an increase in productivity that allows companies to grow.

If you want to find out more details about Ortomec head lettuce harvesters, do not hesitate to contact us. Ortomec team is available to answer all your questions and to find the best solution to your needs.

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