If getting tough on vegetation is your aim, then McConnel has probably got what you’re after. Nick Fone takes a look at the firm’s latest offerings

Good news from British machinery manufacturers has sometimes been in short supply in the past. But on the back of success both at home and abroad, McConnel has revealed some healthy-looking figures.

“Since 2000 we’ve increased our sales volume by 90% and this year we’re looking to add another 10% to that. Consequently we’ve had to up production by 80%” said general manager Christian Davies, speaking at the Ludlow firm’s annual open days this week, where customers were invited along to try out the firm’s latest kit.

New contractor-spec

The most important introduction is a new contractor-spec 6m (20ft) reach hedgetrimmer – the Power-Arm 600 – which incorporates some clever features.

For a start, it has the most powerful hydraulic flail motor ever fitted to a McConnel machine. Plus it pumps out an impressive 85hp, vital, says the company, if you are to get through the thick, woody two-to-three-year growth that has to be left under the latest environment scheme rules.*

F16 version

And it is this tough material that has prompted the company to develop a new heavy-duty flail. About twice the weight and price of a standard flail, the F16 version carries more momentum to smash through thick stems. It has nylon stops to help absorb impacts and higher grade steel, which is claimed to double its lifespan. It can be retro-fitted to any McConnel machine with an output of at least 65hp.

The PA600 retains the firm’s electronic EDS auto-contour-following system and head float but boasts an entirely revamped control set-up with a joystick that allows proportional adjustments of up to five hydraulic services.

Around the back it carries a redesigned cooling pack, which has a cleverly integrated debris blower. This blasts chopped material off the road into the hedge bottom.

*Remember the official hedge-cutting season draws to a close on 1 March.

McConnel 1

Contractor-spec PA600 aims to get through the thick woody 2-3-year growth left under the latest environment rules.

 

McConnel 2

Skid-steer loaders might not be that common in the UK, but in the USA thousands are sold each year.
No surprises, then, that American-owned McConnel is keen to grab a slice of the action and has adapted one of its smallest machines – the PA35 – for that purpose.

 

McConnel 3

Built by Slovenian firm Ino, the company’s range of Magnum flail-mowers runs from 2.3m to 2.8m.
All can be swapped between front and rear mounting thanks to a clever flip-over top-link and reversible pto.