Based in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire contractor Ian Ashcroft runs a PA4330 cutting hedgerows on his own land and for local farmers.
When Ian Ashcroft began his search for a new Power Arm he started with a simple design spec – he wanted a small machine with a big performance.
A full-time design engineer, Ian keeps a smallholding in the Lancashire village of Hesketh Bank and wanted a cost-effective, compact machine that would help him maintain the hedges on his land, as well as support his occasional contracting work.
The machine had to be small enough to fit his John Deere compact 4720 tractor but pack enough punch to deliver an attractive fine-cut finish while maintaining hedges with up to two years growth.
As an engineer, he also expected the best in build quality – requiring a machine which, while light and manoeuvrable, could also be relied upon for durability.
He found the ideal solution in McConnel’s PA4330, a 4.3m Power Arm with high-performance 30hp hydraulics, which is equally adept at tackling hedge-cutting and verge mowing.
Ian said: "I looked at a selection of reach arms but ended up choosing this model for two key reasons: Firstly, McConnel is the market leader for quality and secondly, it offers the widest choice of customisation options."
The latter was especially important to Ian because he was keen to personalise his machine with a requirement that’s almost unique in the UK – opting for a right arm model that is normally created only for export customers.
He explained: "The right-hand build was crucial for me because my John Deere tractor is a relatively small machine and it gave me much better access to and from the cab.
"I also like the fact that I had a lot of options and could spec the machine exactly how I wanted it."
The PA4330’s relatively compact size ensures exceptional manoeuvrability and precision, but it also has a surprisingly generous 4.3m reach, allowing Ian to top high hedges as well as reach over boundary ditches.
"I like the fact that even though the PA4330 is a compact machine you don’t feel a constant desire for more reach. It’s very effective tackling hedgerows and of course it thrives in confined environments."
Since purchasing the machine in 2012, Ian has put the machine through a wide range of green maintenance tasks and has been able to test its long-term reliability in real working conditions
He said: "I have had a very positive experience. Reliability has been exceptional; it’s very easy to manoeuvre; and it delivers a beautiful cut which is very important to me because I want people to see that I take a pride in the work I do."
"I’d certainly recommend the PA4330 to anyone looking for a compact machine."
Other compact Power Arms available from McConnel include: The Swingtrim, a swing-over arm equipped with a choice of 3.2m or 3.5m cutter bars; The PA3430, a 3.4m, 30hp machine; the PA3530, a 3.7m, 30hp model; and the PA4830VFR - a 4.8m reach model with an advanced variable forward reach armset.