Leading Scottish grower improves grading operations

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EAST Lothian-based J. Haig Hamilton & Sons has updated its potato grading operations of its 550-acre crop.

Based near the beautiful North Berwick coastline, Haig Hamilton farms a total of 3,500 acres of land, and as well as a high-quality crop of potatoes, the family farming business also farms oilseed rape, winter barley and winter wheat. 

Tong Engineering’s flagship Caretaker mobile grader has been installed to increase capacity and capability. It replaces an 11-year-old former Caretaker model. The new model has increased automation, upgraded cleaning capabilities, and improved energy efficiency with Tong’s Blue-Inverter all-electric direct drive technology.

Featuring a high-capacity infeed hopper, the Caretaker grading system specified for Haig Hamilton incorporates an eight-row model of Tong’s EasyClean separator, complete with full Auto-Touch HMI control and advanced diagnostics. An 2,400mm-wide Tong EasyGrade screen grading module carefully grades crop before it passes over a six-man LED-lit inspection area and is then gently transferred to boxes via Tong’s Midi EasyFill box filler.

Haig Hamilton said the new machine is configured exactly to the company's specification.

“Going from a four-row cleaner to the eight-row EasyClean means we are now able to double our processing capacity when required, but it’s the automation that is really making all the difference," he said. "Being based in Scotland, changeable weather is usually one of our biggest challenges, although this year has been unusually dry, but the Tong Auto-Touch HMI control system is extremely advanced and easy to use. At the touch of a button, all adjustments to the cleaner’s settings are completely automatic. M

"Most notably, the automatic high-speed cleaning function is incredible! We can schedule it to take place at set intervals, or in relatively dry conditions like we have at the moment, we set it to run at the end of each day. Within seconds dirt is removed from the EasyClean and it is ready for the next day’s work.”

Tong Sales Manager Nick Woodcock has worked with the Hamilton family for many years.

"We have a real understanding of their dedication to producing crop to the highest standards. Their new Caretaker features our most advanced options, and we have even taken their bespoke configuration a step further by designing some additional, unique features which have truly encompassed their most specific requirements. These features include an electric remote-controlled retractable canopy and an in-built water supply for the EasyClean’s spray bars. They have left no stone unturned.”

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