North America

MTS-Sandei enlists Volvo Penta’s help to power its largest new tomato harvester

Volvo Penta is supplying an 8-liter engine for agricultural specialist manufacturer MTS-Sandei, for its latest tomato harvester. The OEM’s new THV 800 model is the largest yet for the Italian company, with a capacity of 80 tons per hour.


The machine will be powered by Volvo Penta’s 8-liter TAD871VE engine and has been created due to industry demand for a higher capacity machine. It has been successfully field-tested by some of MTS-Sandei’s customers. The THV 800 is being previewed at EIMA International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Exhibition in Bologna, before its official launch in 2017.

“This is an exciting time for us to produce a new high capacity tomato harvester and to satisfy our customers’ demands,” says Andrea Zanoli, research and development and operations manager at MTS-Sandei.

“Our THV 800 is one of the biggest on the global market and we believe it will be a market leader.”

The collaboration on the new machine follows a successful integration of Volvo Penta engines in three of MTS-Sandei’s other tomato harvesters in 2015. The THV 800 has some components that are wider than on previous models, allowing for a higher intake and passage of tomatoes, and therefore a greater capacity per hour.

The self-propelling machine feeds its crops into a trailer towed by a tractor, and has been designed to work for 24 hours per day, every day throughout the harvesting season which typically lasts for around 90 days.

Reaping the benefits
MTS was founded in 2003 and added the Sandei brand of harvesters to its agricultural fleet, five years later. MTS-Sandei now produces a range of machines to harvest different fruit and vegetable crops. The THV 800 will be sold all over the world, to regions with a sunny climate – a necessity for tomato growing. The machine harvest fruits, soil and stones until the fruit alone is finally placed cleanly in sections into the trailer; the machine implements mechanical procedures through optical sorters to achieve this. The THV 800 can be customized with a range of attachments to suit the customer’s needs and can also be altered to harvest strawberries, peppers and cucumbers.

“The machine is strong and robust in order to work continuously, but also needs to be sensitive enough to handle such delicate vegetables,” adds Zanoli. “I think of it as a beautiful person, where our new tomato harvester is the individual and the Volvo Penta engine is the jewel which makes him or her truly beautiful and fully valued!”

MTS-Sandei chose to work with Volvo Penta for three main reasons:

  • Technology – as Volvo Penta uses Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) for its exhaust after-treatment system in its Stage IV/Tier 4 Final range, it means that the engines are easy to install and maintain.
  • Quality of the product – the brand perception of Volvo Penta is as a provider of premium products.
  • High torque engine at low rpm – which makes its use of power very efficient.

“We are very happy to be collaborating with Volvo Penta,” says Zanoli. “They are the best supplier for us in terms of engineering, and our relationship has become like a partnership.”
Caring for the environment
Volvo Penta’s TAD871VE is an eight-liter Stage IV/Tier 4 Final diesel engine. The use of SCR rather than a diesel particulate filter for emissions control, results in a compact engine that is easy to maintain. A common-rail injection system and the ability of the engine to produce high torque at low rpm reduces noise and fuel consumption, and consequently gives a reduction in emissions produced.

“For perishable crops such as tomatoes, having low exhaust emissions is very important,” says Giacomo Mondini, Volvo Penta’s sales manager, Italy. “MTS-Sandei, like us, has an ethos of caring for the environment, and we have spent a lot of time in research and development to make our products as eco-friendly as possible.

“Using engines in the agricultural industry is a challenge, so it’s good to see that our eight-liter model works well in MTS-Sandei’s new tomato harvester.”

MTS-Sandei will be exhibiting the new THV 800 and its TH400 tomato harvester (which is also equipped with a Volvo Penta engine) at EIMA; the company will be in Hall 29, Stand C/11.

Volvo Penta will also be exhibiting at the show in Bologna from November 9-13, and can be found in Hall 15, Stand C/14.