Expensive commercial pecan harvesters make it difficult to justify the expense, especially if pecan farming is not your full-time job. Building your own tool for collecting pecans, however, could be an affordable alternative.
Pecan harvesters that collect pecans from the ground operate with discs or a spring -- similar in size to a slinky toy -- that rolls along the ground and grasps the pecans. The spring serves as a small pecan collection basket. The device typically has a handle similar in length to that of a gardening shovel, rake or broom.
A simple harvester can be made by covering the open ends of a spring to prevent pecans from falling out as they are collected. A handle can be attached to the spring using brackets. Placing a long bolt through the middle of the spring allows the homemade pecan picker to roll on the ground.
As you roll the device on the ground, the spring spreads as it encounters pecans. The pecan picker grasps the pecans, which collect in the middle of the spring.