HELD AT Ragley Estate, Alcester in Worcs, the APF’s biennial international forest machinery event offered something of interest to all.

From small axes to vast tree harvesters, from garden chippers to 600hp shredders – and everything in between. It’s an event which, during its three days, attracts the industry en masse and is not to be missed by machinery manufacturers – however tenuous their connection with matters of timber processing may be.

But that is not a criticism that could be levelled at Joe Turner Equipment which used the event to introduce a new cutting head for hedge and verge trimming machines.

Designed and built in Germany, the head has a central spindle with a toothed cutting blade arranged in a spiral around it. The teeth, which are bolted on in quarter-circle sections, are about 2cm deep.

Rotated at a speed of 3600rpm – power is supplied from a hydraulic motor – the teeth razzle into anything put before them across the head’s 1.25m working width.

When compared with conventional chain and flail systems, the spiral cutter is said to offer several advantages.

It requires less power, does not throw debris in all directions and, as a result, is deemed to be a safer and more user-friendly system.

According to company boss Joe Turner, the unit can be fitted as a direct replacement for flail-heads and, at a price of just over £4000, costs about the same.

“We have fitted it to Spearhead machines and it works very well both on grass and hedges,” he says.

“I have to concede though, other manufacturers are not so happy with us fitting it to their machines.”