• Trimmer

Manufacturer independence appeals to Norfolk hedging contractor

The benefits of buying a locally-made machine from an independent manufacturer willing to respond to feedback mean Shelbourne Reynolds has become the preferred hedge trimmer supplier for one Norfolk contractor.

For the past thirty years hedgecutting has been the focus of the contracting business run by Anton Crisp alongside the 48ha (120ac) family arable operation at Glebe Farm, Gressenhall, near Dereham. The decision to switch to a Shelbourne trimmer is a relatively recent one, influenced by the desire to work with a manufacturer offering an independent approach to the demands of hedge trimmer users.  

Anton Crisp

“Shelbourne were prepared to specify my machine exactly how I wanted it,” says Mr Crisp.

“The Powerblade 767 VFR I’m running currently has an additional 0.5m reach over the standard model, something Shelbourne were able to engineer into the machine at my request when it was built.”

It was the dedication of the people making the machines that also impressed him on a machinery club trip around the factory at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

“It was good to see the pride taken in the products being manufactured, and the engineers were keen to listen to ideas and feedback.

“And with factory being nearby, I know that I can get support from the staff there if needed.”

With the amount of work he puts his trimmers through, they are changed every two years. His tractor tots up 2,000hrs each year during eight months of trimming work, with about a third of the total coming from verge mowing contracts for Norfolk County Council’s appointed highways contractor. Most work is carried out within a 20 mile radius for 40-50 regular customers.

Purchased through Ernest Doe at North Walsham, Mr Crisp’s Powerblade 767 VFR is just over 18 months old. When it’s replaced this summer, it’s likely to make way for one of the latest VFRT models, combining variable forward reach with a telescopic second arm.

“I’ve had one on demo, and the combination of variable forward reach with a telescopic boom is very useful. We have some very narrow lanes, and variable forward reach helps in cutting hedge sides tight to the tractor. Extra telescopic reach will be a useful addition to that.”

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