Buyers guide to 6m-reach hedgecutters

Farmers have found themselves under pressure to fit hedgecutting into a relatively short window around other time-pressured arable tasks, so having an implement that is fit for the job is more important than ever.

Those that haven’t ventured into the hedgecutter market recently might be surprised at the technology now on offer, with features such as sensor-guided levelling, variable forward reach and electronic joystick designed to make bush-whacking work a little less arduous.

As we’re now in the trimming off-season (1 March to 1 September), we’ve had a closer look at the 6m-reach market – the kind of machines farmers and small contractors with a healthy yearly trimming workload will be looking at. 

See also: 14t and 16t silage trailer buyers guide

Where possible, we have provided a realistic on-farm price that includes electric proportional joystick controls. 

McConnel PA6065

McConnel PA6065 hedgecutter

McConnel’s 42 models across 12 ranges is one of the most comprehensive on the market, with the Ludlow-based maker’s line-up extending from 3.2m to 8m. It also produces front-mounted trimmers that can automatically negotiate Armco barriers.

The 65 series was launched back in 2013 and is the smallest McConnel machine to reach beyond 6m.

Tweaks since its inception include a 5hp increase and more control options. The firm was keen to point out that the telescopic 6565T is the better-selling model in this bracket.

Luxuries such as soft-start rotors, hydraulic breakaways and a cushioned top link, along with McConnel’s in-house-built Motion short-stick proportional controls, are all standard.

The fancier full joystick Evolution and Revolution controls offer add-ons including the easy drive system (EDS) cruise control for those spending a lot of time on verge work.

This uses sensors to monitor ground contours and adjusts 30 times/sec at speeds of up to 18kph.

McConnel PA6065

Reach

6m

Power

70hp

Minimum tractor hp

80hp

Weight (with head and oil)

1,637kg

Hydraulic capacity

180 litres

Hydraulic flow

153 litres/min

Standard controls

Motion proportional short-stick

Head options

1.2m (std), 1.5m and 1.6m (opt)

Mounting

Three-point

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

EDS cruise control, VFR, Twincut flail head, telescopic arm, Orbitor head, debris blower, oil cooler, front mounted, hydraulic rollers, skid kits, four/five-point mounting

Realistic on-farm price

£17,000

Shelbourne Reynolds Powerblade HD760T

Shelbourne Reynolds Powerblade HD760T hedgecutter

Shelbourne Reynolds has three models that reach to 6m. 

All three come with a telescopic arm as standard and are built at the firm’s factory in Stanton, Bury St Edmunds.

The HD760T is the mid-size option, with the arm starting at 4.8m when folded and extending to 6m when pushed out.

The upshot here is the design can be kept fairly compact for narrow lanes.

Shelbourne has given the HD760T a fairly high spec compared to some of its competitors, with fully proportional digital joystick controls, fan-driven oil cooler and a twin V-belt driven head all part of the standard package.

The smaller HD660T model gets the two-way electronic joystick.

Powerblade HD760T

Reach

6m telescopic

Power

70hp

Minimum tractor hp

100hp

Weight (with head and oil)

1,850kg

Hydraulic capacity

150 litres

Hydraulic flow

100 litres/min

Standard controls

Digital proportional joystick

Head options

1.2m (std), 1.5m (opt)

Mounting

Four-point stabiliser

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Hydraulic roller, narrow lane bracket, rear blower, verge kit, hydraulic nose, 85hp hydraulic pump, highway kit

Realistic on-farm price

£23,850

Bomford Turner Hawk Evo

Bomford Turner Hawk Evo hedgecutter

Hedgecutters take up a large chunk of the Bomford portfolio, with more than 20 different models ranging from compact tractor-sized machines up to contractor spec and front-mounted units.

The Worcestershire maker’s 6m Hawk Evo model is sandwiched by 5.4m and 6.5m options. It comes with a 1.2m head and cable controls are standard. A cab guard kit and lights are included in the base spec.

Those after an electronic option could go for the intelligent control system (ICS), which is a stubby proportional joystick with a seat-mounted screen displaying warning messages and hours worked, alongside a selection of hot-key buttons.

Hawk Evo

Reach

6m

Power

60hp

Minimum tractor hp

65hp

Weight (with head and oil)

1,490kg

Hydraulic capacity

180 litres

Hydraulic flow

104 litres/min

Standard controls

Cable controls

Head options

1.2m

Mounting

Three-point linkage

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Axle bracket, electric control, rotor reverse, oil cooler, ICS, joystick controls

Typical on-farm price

£24,600 (inc ICS controls)

Spearhead Twiga Classic S60

Spearhead Twiga Classic S60 hedgecutter

Alongside its mulchers and mowers, Spearhead offers five ranges of hedgetrimmer to suit tractors from 25hp to 140hp.

These are built at the company’s factory in Evesham, Worcestershire. Based on the well-known Excel 565 machines, the five Twiga Classic models span 5m to 6.5m, with the biggest getting a telescopic arm.

The two mid-sized machines – 5.5m and 6m – are available with variable forward reach (VFR). The standard Twiga S60 stretches out to 5.9m and comes with electric proportional joystick controls as standard.

Twiga Classic S60

Reach

5.9m

Power

65hp

Minimum tractor hp

70hp

Weight

1,580kg

Hydraulic capacity

190 litres

Hydraulic flow

90 litres/min

Standard controls

Pilot hydraulic proportional controls

Head options

1.2m (std), 1.5m (opt)

Mounting

Three-point linkage

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Belt-driven flail head, skid kit, saw deck, VFR, oil cooler, narrow lane bracket, rear blower, arm and head float kits

Realistic on-farm price

£18,000

Weaving Agrimaster R600

Weaving Agrimaster R600 hedgecutter

Weaving is better known for its drills and cultivators but the firm has also imported a range of Italian-built grassland machines from Agrimaster for the past 20 years, including arm cutters and flail mowers.

The Worcestershire-based company says it has had design involvement to get the cutters up to UK spec for hedge work as well – the Italian farmers are apparently more interested in using them to cut verges.

There are four machines suitable for agriculture, starting at 5.2m reach and going up to a 6.5m telescopic model.

All are relatively simply to use, but a generous standard spec limits the list of optional extras – hydraulic head float, oil cooler and joystick proportional control all included on base versions.

Weaving Agrimaster R600

Reach

6m

Power

58hp

Minimum tractor hp

130hp

Weight

1,460kg

Hydraulic capacity

200 litres

Hydraulic flow

80 litres/min

Head options

1.5m

Standard controls

Proportional oil over oil joystick

Mounting

Three-point with front link stabiliser

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Rear blower, hydraulic roller

Realistic on-farm price

£15,400

Kuhn Multilonger GII

Kuhn Multilonger GII hedgecutter

Kuhn’s range of UK-spec hedgecutters is quite small, mainly because it predominantly builds right-sided models for the European market.

The only other country where lefties are sold is Japan, which is why the biggest model extends to a modest 5.7m – slightly below our target spec. These are built in Nantes, where Kuhn also produces straw bedders and mixer wagons.

A quirk with the firm’s Multilonger is that the Optiview arm is semi-leading, which means the head sits slightly further down the side of the tractor to offer a better view from the cab.

A parallelogram arm design allows both parts of the arm to be operated by one control and there’s added suspension for verge work, too.

The Multilonger comes quite highly specced, with four-way proportional joystick control and 116deg of arm slew movement as standard.

Multilonger GII 5757

Reach

5.7m

Power

57hp

Minimum tractor hp

90hp

Weight

1,695kg

Hydraulic capacity

80 litres

Hydraulic flow

110 litres/min

Head options

1.2m (std), 1.5m (opt)

Standard controls

Electric proportional joystick

Mounting

Three-point linkage

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Hydraulic roller, axle mounting, auto break back, toolbox, link float,

Retail price

£31,772

Razorback Auto-level 550

Razorback Auto-level 550 hedgecutter

It has been a few years since Mzuri’s sister company Razorback entered the hedgecutting arena with its novel 5.5m reach machine and it has been joined more recently by a larger 6.8m telescopic model.

A key design feature of both machines is a self-levelling pivot between the three-point linkage and the body of the cutter. This allows the tractor to move independently of the trimmer, so if it drops into a rut, the movement isn’t transferred to the cutting head.

Another quirk of the Auto-level machines is the 1.5m fixed blade rotary head – similar to that of a lawnmower – that offers an alternative to the spinning flails used by most machines.

Using three spinning discs means the blades are in contact with the material throughout their 360deg revolution. This design also helps to conserve power and make the head lighter, says Mzuri, though there is still a flail option for those who need it.

Razorback Auto-level 550

Reach

5.5m

Power

68hp

Minimum tractor hp

85hp

Weight

1,880kg

Hydraulic capacity

220 litres

Hydraulic flow

145 litres/min

Head options

1.5m rotary (std), 1.2 or 1.5m flail (opt)

Standard controls

Electric proportional joystick

Mounting

Three-point to four-point stabiliser

Optional extras (not exhaustive)

Quick attach kit, lift float kit

Realistic on-farm price

£27,500