Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2016


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Charles Pringle

Third Committee Member

Roger Beardsley


The technology of electric tree pruners in the current agricultural market has many engineering problems, including; a deficit in power output, excessive overheating, and ergonomics. The 3-man pruner team has coordinated with H.F. Hauff Co. Inc., an agricultural equipment company owned by Neil Hauff, to produce an electric pruner prototype which addresses these problems. The methods used to design the optimal pruner prototype includes traditional engineering stress analysis, force flow analysis, finite element software, and Solidworks modeling software. The construction of the pruner involved manual machining methods and C.N.C. (Computerized Numerical Control) mill technology. During the design process, the team learned advanced analysis practices, the relationships between torque and linear output, work fixture design, product design practices, and found that slight modifications to geometry caused a force amplification effect. With the help of Neil, and his staff, the pruner team gained an appreciation and insight into the professional design process and the relationship between part complexity and fabrication time. The finished prototype was able to meet the initially established design requirements of the pruner. However, the design is still limited with regards power output and operation temperature. The design and analysis performed for this project has made it possible for further optimization of the current prototype and some engineering problems of current electric pruners were addressed and fixed. Weaknesses of the design include a high weight and non-optimal center of gravity.


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