Early in the summer of 1960, Dick Brandt learned that he inherited a prune ranch. Dick, who had been around the prune industry most of his life, had never been satisfied with the existing method used to harvest prunes. State of the art harvesting at that time consisted of removing the fruit from the tree one branch at a time. This was accomplished by striking the limb with a mall or by the use of a tractor mounted mechanical knocker.
Dick envisioned a system that would grip the trunk of the tree and through a short series of hydraulically generated vibrations, remove the entire crop.
When a neighbor stopped by Dick's shop to check out the activity, Dick explained to him just what he was trying to accomplish. When Dick explained to him what he was attempting to do, the neighbor insisted on buying the machine when it was finished. Dick gave the man an excessive price of $3,500.00 just to get rid of him, and to his surprise, the offer was accepted. This transaction launched a company known as Shock Wave Shaker; later to become known as Orchard Machinery Corporation.