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How to Find your Cleaning Table Match

Wouldn’t potato harvesting be a whole lot simpler if all your fields, all the time, had identical harvest conditions? The reality, however, is soil conditions vary across a farm, weather changes from day to day (and sometimes minute to minute), and different potato varieties need different handling. Do you have the right cleaning tables for the spuds coming out of your ground?

Producers growing in lighter soils with few rocks and clods can have good success with star tables — the simplest of cleaning tables. Opt for stars covered in urethane to help alleviate dirt buildup. Star tables come in various configurations, many of which can be adjusted to size out small rocks, small dirt clods and, in certain cases, undesirably small potatoes.

One of the most versatile star tables is a 5-finger star, which can handle light to medium soils. 5-finger stars can also have success in heavier, wetter soils on machines equipped with quick reverse hydraulic drive technology.

Producers who grow fingerlings and other small specialty potatoes may instead opt for a 13/7-finger star, which suits lighter soils but can gently handle and retain even the smallest of tubers. A small pitch belted chain table can offer even more control of the smallest-sized potatoes.

In rockier, light to medium soils, producers need a cleaning table like a double stone table. This kind of table consists of a series of narrow hub 13/7 finger star rollers configured with two smooth steel rollers. The smooth rollers adjust up and down to create a stall in the flow over the table, allowing smaller stones to fall out.

In heavier soils, producers will fare best with a workhorse like what we call our Extreme Clean table. This kind of table consists of a series of urethane spiral rollers in combination with either steel or rubber smooth rollers that can be run in forward or reverse direction depending on field conditions. The smooth rollers are adjustable up/down from the control box on the machine to set the aggressiveness of cleaning desired. The speed of all rollers is also adjustable. This table works well in all soil conditions and does an excellent job of removing dirt clods, grasses, vines and corn trash.

LOCKWOOD is the only company in North America to take adjustability to the next level: our VACS Mobile/VACS-8 air separator machines offer modular, interchangeable tables. Changing out a table requires just eight bolts, two hydraulic quick couplers and less than an hour’s effort. While there’s no one-table-to-suit-all option, this level of quick-change adjustability is the next best thing.

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