Machinery News

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New products launched at manufacturer open day

The biennial McConnel open day took place at the companys Worcestershire headquarters in late March

The biennial McConnel open day took place at the companys Worcestershire headquarters in late March. Always popular, the event is attended by dealers and customers, and features examples of most products from the latest range. David Williams reports. McConnels Expo 2014 event attracted approximately 700 visitors from the UK and overseas.  All-new seed drill The biggest news for farmers was the launch of a McConnel strip-till drill. The Seedaerator is designed for one-pass crop establishment regimes and is expected to appeal to farmers, as well as to contractors.
Leading tines work the soil within the planting zone and a large pneumatic cleated tyre firms and tills the soil in a 150mm band preparing the area for the seed. The seed coulter is followed by a rear packer wheel and a press wheel firms the surface to ensure adequate seed-to-soil contact. The Seedaerator drill, designed for one-pass crop establishment regimes. High ground clearance and a large amount of stagger between the sowing units ensures adequate clearance for trash.
The Seedaerator is available in a 3m working width, drilling seed in nine 150mm bands. Leg options include deep soil conditioning or low-disturbance versions, and hopper capacities are from 6001,250kg. RDS metering is standard. Power requirement for the 3m model is 160hp upwards and the new drill is available to order now at 25,000. 
Stubble harrow
The new Rakaerator is designed for high speed raking of stubble, mixing soil and crop residue to encourage the germination of volunteer seeds and weeds. The working width is 7.4m and there are six rows of 13mm sprung tines, hydraulically adjustable for optimising performance on the move. The company recommends a tractor of at least 120hp.  New mid-range hedgecutters New 65-series Power Arms were shown at the open day, all with 65hp totally independent hydraulics and a choice of reach from 5.57.0m. Four models are available, in 0.5m reach variants. The 65-series has features to suit farmers, contractors and local authorities, says the company, and a wide choice of cutting heads is available, including Supercut, MultiCut and Omega flailheads, as well as TwinCut, with dual rotors. Two control options are available; XTC, which is McConnels entry level electric proportional controls system and Revolution, a state-of-the-art hands-free control for high speed verge mowing. Mounting is by three-point linkage or five-point axle mounts.
The latest 65-series Power Arms suit tractors from 65hp and weighing at least 3,500kg. Prices start from 23,600. 
Telescopic arm option The Tele-VFR arm is a new option, available for 70- and 85-series Power Arms. Also launched in the Power Arm range was a new variable forward reach arm, the Tele- VFR. Available for 70 and 85-series models, the arm is available in 7 and 8m reach options and offers 1m adjustment through the telescopic arm, enhancing visibility and operator comfort and providing added safety, says the company.  
Remote range extended Two new models in McConnels remote control machinery range were launched at the event, together with new working attachments.  Robomow is an all-terrain mowing machine, capable of tackling slopes up to 55 degrees, with a choice of tracks and powered by a Yanmar 33hp diesel engine. It is available with flail or rotary cutter heads, has a 150m remote control range and is described as a cost-effective option for those keen to enter the remote control market for the first time. The range of remote control machines has been extended. Pictured is the Roboload with a bucket capacity of 300kg. The Roboload can be equipped with standard or heavy duty high-tip buckets or heavy-duty forestry and mulching flailheads. The front loader is capable of carrying loads up to 300kg and is said to be ideal for moving rubble, debris or other loose materials while the flailheads will cope with branches and vegetation up to 120mm thick. Power is provided by a 40hp Yanmar engine and the Roboload is designed for operation on slopes up to 55 degrees.

Next-generation remote tractor A next-generation unmanned tractor was also shown, described as offering greater versatility. The Robopower has considerably more power than the other machines, with 140hp under the bonnet courtesy of a Deutz turbo-diesel power unit. The tractor has Cat 2 three-point linkage and PTO at the front and rear allowing its operation with a huge range of implements.  Remote control range is up to 150m, and there is the facility to alter the steering bias for working on cross-slopes, as well as to control auxiliary functions to the front and rear. With enough power to operate two attachments simultaneously the tractor can operate on slopes up to 40 degrees and travels on two 400mm tracks. Unladen weight is 4,650kg and a 125-litre fuel tank is said to provide adequate fuel for a full days work. Tracks are self-tightening and working speeds are up to 10kph.
The price is 86,500.

High output flail mowers Two new flail mowers, each with an 8m working width are now available from the company. They are designed primarily for agricultural use and are said to offer work rates up to 6ha per hour. The Magnum Duplex rear mowers, combined with a front mower, provide an 8m cutting width. The Magnum Duplex is a hydraulic-folding rear-mounted double mower, designed for linkage mounting and for operating in conjunction with a front-mounted cutter unit. The Magnum Triplex is a trailed model, suitable for use with tractors without front linkage and PTO. Three mowers are mounted on a central transport unit, the left and right mowers directly to the rear of the tractor wheels with a single unit at the rear. Versatility is provided by the removable rear unit capable of being used independently on the tractor linkage. The new mowers have a 7.9m working width and fold hydraulically for transport. Heavy duty hammer flails are supplied as standard equipment and are said to be capable of shredding vegetation up to 60mm thick. The mowers will cope with operation on uneven ground, the outer units having 15 degrees of movement available up and down.
Power transmission is through heavy duty gearboxes with overrun clutch protection and automatic tensioning of the drive system is provided. The decks are double-skinned and equipped with a heavy duty chassis.  Prices are 23,000 for the Magnum Duplex and 37,800 for the Magnum Triplex.

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