Fountains recognized the need for a non-labour intensive transplanter
to match the rapid growth in use of modules for Brassica plants and the need
for Nursery Growers and Farmers to use their existing, rigid plastic module trays.
Armed with their years of experience and plant knowledge Fountain’s
began designing the machine from the point of view of a plant and how best to
handle it, and not simply from an engineering standpoint.
Many other designs that existed
around the world suffered from inherent problems of poor plant handling and reliability.
They settled on a basic design. The Mark 1 Prototype machine commenced in 2000
and was tested in 2001.
A second prototype Mark 2 machine was built and field
tested in 2002. The Mark 3, a 5 head machine followed and completed over 500
acres in 2003 in a variety of soil conditions and a full range of Brassica varieties.
were very impressed with the accuracy and speed of planting and the upright nature
and firm seedling position in the soil.
A Worldwide Licensing Agreement was signed between RICHARD PEARSON Ltd and
R Fountain & Sons Ltd in 2004.
Since 2004 the Pearson team has worked closely
with Fountains and evolved and developed the Autoplanter. Superior enhancements
and the use of modern, high-tech materials have transformed the prototype into
the world’s most exciting Automatic module transplanter.
Latest models are working in Brassica crops in the UK and in Tomatoes in the