Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, the ORCell system will generate a notification that can be sent either via text or email when a machine has a critical fault that would stop it from running.

Yes, the ORCell system will generate a notification that can be sent either via text or email when a machine goes into warming up, running, cooling down or back to stopped.

Yes, the ORCell system will generate a notification that can be sent either via text or email when a specified air temperature is met.

With the ORCell system you can remotely arm, disarm and adjust the start temperature and differential on an attached AutoStart, for a wind machine or groups of wind machines remotely.

Wind Machines/Frost Fans

Many factors impact the answer to this question, but some important points are:

  • The frost susceptibility of your crop variety
  • The developmental stage of the crop/time of year
  • The conditions of your site, including minimum temperature at crop height and strength of inversion during frost events (inversion strength is the temperature difference between fruiting height and 20m above the ground)

Some crops are naturally more frost-tolerant than others. Citrus generally will withstand lower temperatures than stone fruit, which in turn, withstands lower temperatures than grapes, for example.

Within a single crop type, there may also be differences. Lemons, mandarins, and oranges all have different frost thresholds, so understanding the frost tolerance of your varieties is important.

Crop development and timing also play a role. During colder months plants grow slowly and naturally develop “cold hardiness.” Among other factors, slower water uptake and growth lead to increased solute concentrations within the plant tissue, which in turn, retards ice development.

Ambient conditions play a large role in fan effectiveness – particularly the presence and strength of an inversion. A strong inversion will generally allow a fan to cover larger areas.

Fan characteristics play a part, as well. Best results are achieved with wind machines/frost fans that produce a wind-stream with great momentum (which is the product of air volume and speed), allowing air to be pushed deep into an orchard.

Talk to your Orchard-Rite dealer. Understanding your crop, measuring the conditions, and applying performance studied in-field will provide the most well-considered, successful frost-fighting outcome.

From very little to significantly, depending on the style of structure and weave of netting.

The weave or “size of hole” in a net provides the first obstacle. Hail netting with a finer weave will provide more resistance than bird net which has a more open weave.

A peaked net allows reasonable penetration of airflow from a fan. Peaked roofs are typically used where snowfall may be experienced so their use is limited across Australia.

Flat roofs tend to deflect or “bounce” the air from a fan reducing penetration and coverage. Typically, fans with a wide sector angle and greater thrust/airflow offers advantages in pushing air through a flat net roof.

It’s very important to understand the effect your netting will have on a wind machine/frost fan and ensure placements are well-considered, as all netting will affect fan performance.

Talk to your Orchard-Rite consultant and prepare a customized fan placement strategy to mitigate the effect netting will have on your fans’ performance.

Without a doubt, it does.

How a frost fan works is generally well-understood, i.e. the fan draws warm air from an inversion down into the crop zone, raising the average temperature to protect your crop.

Some obvious factors affect the pattern of coverage, including the strength of nocturnal drift, obstructions to airflow/damming cold air, orientation of orchard or vine rows, and size and density of your canopy.

One factor that plays a major role in fan performance is often overlooked. This is the immediate topography and ground contours surrounding the wind machine/frost fan itself.

Universally, wind machines/frost fans have a blade mounted at an angle of 6ᵒ off vertical, and this angle provides excellent air movement across flat terrain.

If the slope is greater than 6ᵒ, the fan air (which is also warmer and more buoyant than the cold air at ground level) simply blows across the top of your orchard, providing zero benefit to your crop or your pocket.

This is an important consideration across much of Australia, as many orchards have topography that wastes wind machine/frost fan air by blowing straight over the crop or into the side of a hill.

Orchard-Rite offers a number of solutions in these circumstances.

  • “Tilt heads” can be installed to follow topography with a constant gradient.
  • “Contour heads” follow complex ground shapes and are ideal for use when both sides of a sand dune or ridge require protection.
  • “Dog-leg towers” add even more angle for extreme ground shapes.

Tilt, contour, and dog-leg towers have been developed for a reason and offer significant benefits. Make sure you get the most value from your machine and protect all of your fruit by calling your Orchard-Rite technician today.

Yes, it does.

Cold air sinks and will flow along the ground – like water – toward the lowest point it can. Anything that blocks or retards this flow will cause the air to “back up.” Imagine throwing a log into a stream – it will raise the water level, increase the width, or even change the course of the stream if it’s a big enough log. The same happens with cold air when it encounters an obstacle.

Orchard or vine rows that are oriented downhill better allow cold air to passively flow away, whereas rows running across a hill may create the same effect as the log in the stream.

Of course, there will be cases where operational or horticultural reasons dictate row orientations, but anything you can do to clear a path for air drainage will help to some degree. This might include reducing the height of mounds, skirting trees up or, clearing weeds and debris.

Tilt wedges, counter-rotating gearboxes, or dog-leg towers have been developed and can assist in exhausting cold air. Fans with great thrust can shift cold air from within the densest canopy and help reduce the effect of row orientation on cold air accumulation. Talk to your Orchard-Rite technician today to learn more about preventing cold air build-up in your orchard.

Tree Shakers

Depending on the skill level of the operator, a single Bullet shaker can average 20 acres per day.

Hydrashake harnesses the power and adjustability of the Hydrostatic Propulsion pump and diverts that power to the shaker head, which results a much stronger shake with the ability to adjust shake intensity.

Accushake allows the operator to select different customizable shake profiles to maximize harvest efficiency for different field/crop conditions.