Mechanical Engineering


Scott Harlan P.E.

California Professional Engineer License M31719


19518 Creekside Ct.  

Salinas, California 93908

Agricultural Machinery Design 

  • Ag Prototype Design
  • Produce Conveyor Design
  • Harvester Design

Exciting developments are being made in the design of row crop harvesters around the world.  The lettuce industry is engaged in the early stages of automating lettuce harvesting.  As one of the principal designers of the first commercially successful mechanical lettuce harvesters, I am happy to be a part of this technological revolution.   The water jet harvester built by Ramsay Highlander (shown at right) cuts the lettuce without a blade.  Instead it uses ultra high pressure water to cut the heads.  Several of these harvesters have been built and are currently operating successfully in the Salinas Valley.  


As the principal engineer on four different lettuce harvester designs and a contributor to a fifth design, my lettuce harvester design experience is unsurpassed.  Many of th design principles could be adapted to work on other crops throughout the world.  The labor savings achieved by using automated harvesters is staggering, saving 50% of the harvesting labor or more.

In addition to mechanical lettuce harvesters my agricultural experience includes designing spinach harvesters and celery machines.  Designing a conveyor system that will eliminate foreign objects and partial leafs without damaging the product is key to a successful design.  It is also critical that these conveyor designs can be cleaned thoroughly and swiftly. 

If you are looking for design assistance on a piece of Ag machinery, an experienced engineer can help you avoid potentially expensive mistakes.   I have the design experience to help make your agricultural machinery project a success.  


This waterjet harvester is designed  accomodates a wide variation in bed flatness and furrow depth in order to prevent sacrificing yield.

Revolutionary Romaine harvester cuts lettuce using ultra-high pressure water.  


Celery machine with dual tracks and a compact footprint for transport.

Celery harvester becomes very compact when folded  for shipment .

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Solar powered strawberry harvester is engineered to allow workers to pick from a sitting position, harvests quietly, and requires no fuel.

Spinach harvester has many systems but has minimal electronics to maximize reliability

Stainless spinach harvester was designed to be consistent with best food safety practices without becoming excessively costly.