Groundcare Testimonials

Giles Pursey, Somerset Giles Pursey, Somerset

“I always say to anyone in hedge trimming who’s considering a new machine that if they haven’t tried a Shelbourne, they should.”

That’s Somerset contractor Giles Pursey’s advice, and with almost every make of hedge trimmer having been through his hands, he’s well-qualified to offer advice. Putting 900 hours/year of hedge work on his tractor and its Shelbourne Reynolds HD760T Powerblade partner, he works within a 15-mile radius of his base in the village of Street, Somerset  cutting hedges for around 70 local farms.

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Tom Stockil, North Yorkshire Tom Stockil, North Yorkshire

Reliability and build quality were the key reasons Tom Stockil and his father Michael chose to break a long-held relationship with their hedge trimmer supplier. Having found those qualities by switching to a Shelbourne Reynolds Powerblade VFRT, they have been able to cut the trimmer fleet for their contracting business from three machines to two, while maintaining the same amount of work.

“We cut the hedges on around 15-16,000 acres each year within a ten mile radius of home,” explains Tom, who is based at Markington, near Harrogate.

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Mark Chapman, Cornwall Mark Chapman, Cornwall

It’s a mark of the finish left behind by his pair of Shelbourne Reynolds Powerblade hedge trimmers that, when working for his local council, Cornish contractor Mark Chapman is often to match up rough grass areas to those cut by their mower teams.   

“They’re happy that there’s very little difference in the finish left between the mowers and our machines on rough grass areas,” says Mark, who runs an HD775 VFRT alongside a 656.

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VFRT depended on to help meet new hedge regulations VFRT depended on to help meet new hedge regulations

Summer 2015’s change in hedge cutting regulations, delaying the task’s permissible start point by a month from its old date of August 1, looks likely to increase pressure on farmers and contractors this season. Being forced to pack more work into a shorter period, they may also need to find other ways to get at hedges that were formerly accessible by running on the stubble between the end of one crop and the beginning of another, but are now difficult to get at because the land may well have been cultivated and drilled.

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Contractor's first Powerblade makes way for another Contractor's first Powerblade makes way for another

With a big ploughing and combination drilling workload in autumn and spring, Leicestershire contractor Colin Clayton has to fit his third main contract service, hedge trimming, into the four months between November and February, plus a brief fortnight-long window in late summer. In that time he has to meet the demands of as many as 80 customers across the county.

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Manufacturer independence appeals to Norfolk hedging contractor Manufacturer independence appeals to Norfolk hedging contractor

With a big ploughing and combination drilling workload in autumn and spring, Leicestershire contractor Colin Clayton has to fit his third main contract service, hedge trimming, into the four months between November and February, plus a brief fortnight-long window in late summer. In that time he has to meet the demands of as many as 80 customers across the county.

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Waldersey Farms Waldersey Farms

When Derek Russell goes to work cutting river banks and dykes everyday he literally “looks forward” to an enjoyable day’s work ahead on his Shelbourne Reynolds hedgecutter.

 

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Huw Lincoln, Haywards Heath, Sussex (HD70T) Huw Lincoln, Haywards Heath, Sussex (HD70T)

“I know I’m a bit of stickler for perfection when it comes to hedge trimming, but when you do the job for a living the finished hedge becomes your shop window.”  Sharp blades are considered to be important by Mr. Lincoln if good clean cuts are to be made. The blade is sharpened from the curved top side.    

Mr. Lincoln says  "Proportional electronic controls help to turn in prize-winning performances."

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Tim Frizzel, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, UK, (HD62VFR) Tim Frizzel, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, UK, (HD62VFR)

Tim Frizzel was adamant – he was not going back to using a hedge cutter that required him to spend all his time looking over his left shoulder.With that proviso registered, when his Econ mid-mounted machine had reached the age and condition when the word ‘tired’ was the polite way of describing it, he was keen to replace it with a hedge cutter that could place the flail head where he could see it. Based at Sturminster Newton in Dorset, Mr Frizzel has been cutting hedges for more years than he says he cares to remember – and clearly long enough to remember the aching necks that occur when operating a rear mounted machine. All of which is now history because his latest hedge cutter is a Shelbourne Reynolds Powerblade 6.2m VFR – variable forward reach.

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Michael Tomlinson, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, UK, (HD62VFR) Michael Tomlinson, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, UK, (HD62VFR)

Hedge trimmer design has taken another step forward with the introduction of the variable forward reach system. We visited the first user of Shelbourne Reynold’s innovative 6.2m Powerblade VFR and discovered a success.There can be few better views in the countryside than a well trimmed hedge – its sides uniform, top level and the surrounding vegetation neatly cut.Of the skills used in an industry which now places more emphasis on speed than straight ploughing, hedge trimming must count as one of the last remaining tasks where operator skill can be truly appreciated.And it is one which contractor Mike Tomlinson takes very seriously. Based near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, Mr Tomlinson has taken the art of hedge trimming to new levels - levels that have earned him the respect of his customers.

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Pete Rideout, Chettle, Dorset, UK (HD70T) Pete Rideout, Chettle, Dorset, UK (HD70T)

"One of the most annoying thing about hedge cutting is that after concentrating hard to create a good level, even cut, you look back and see the odd uncut branch sticking up," says Pete Rideout.

And it’s an opinion you can have some sympathy with – the way a hedge looks after it is cut is usually considered to be a reflection on the ability of the operator, not the machine used to cut it.Which is why, he insists, he purchased his first Shelbourne Reynolds hedge cutter a few years ago and, following the success with that one, why he recently purchased a second machine.

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Mark Harvey, Hinton St Mary Estate, Dorset, UK (HD70T) Mark Harvey, Hinton St Mary Estate, Dorset, UK (HD70T)

There are over 36 miles of hedges to cut each year on the land which forms Hinton St Mary Estate in Dorset. And the intention is to cut every mile, every year.

Managed by Velcourt under the guidance of farm manager Mark Harvey, the farmed area at Hinton St Mary Estate runs to some 1750 acres of which 1000 acres is down to arable cropping with the remainder under grass and forage maize for the Estate’s 400-cow dairy herd and its 225 followers.

"With that distance of hedge row, you can imagine that our field sizes are not that big," says Mr Harvey. "The average is about 22 acres which is a bit on the tight side for some of the larger cultivators and combines we operate."

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