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Paper Details

Development and Ergonomic Evaluation of a Coconut Palm Climbing Device

Agravat VV, Makavana JM, Mohnot P, Yadav R* and Gajjar PP

Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal

Harvesting of coconut is very difficult and tedious work due to non-branched structure of the coconut palm. Only skilled persons can do this work. In Gujarat coconut palm growers are completely depend on the trained climbers who climb up unsafely without using any equipment. To resolve this, a sitting type coconut palm climbing device was developed at Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh. It has two units such as the upper unit that provides seating facility to the operator and the lower unit that is actuated by legs. The device was designed as per the anthropometric dimensions of the climbers of Saurashtra region. The main components of the device were approach section, junction, seat support pipe, base pipe, seat, telescopic pipe, metal rope, and gripping face plate. Total weight of the device was 4.5 kg. The device was able to sustain the external load up to 160kg. For field testing and ergonomic evaluation, independent variables such as operator (O1, O2, and O3) and height of coconut palm (7,9 and 11 m) were selected. Operator O3 with developed device achieved the highest ascending speed (26.60 cm /s) and descending speed (27.16 cm /s). The highest climbing capacity with developed device was found to be 13palm/h with operator O3. Increase in heart rate (21.82%) and body temperature (1.03%) were found lowest with the combination of operator O3 at 7 m height of coconut palm.