The JCB Hydradig 110W was designed for land drainage and water supply works, but contractors have found that it doubles as a handy farm maintenance tool, according to a report in Farmers Weekly. The sturdy tracked machines have proved their versatility on farms across the country, meaning they will rarely stand idle.
The Hydradig is valued by contractors for its stability and low centre of gravity, meaning it doesn’t need a big counterweight to maintain balance. It can manoeuvre in confined spaces, with a tail swing of just 120mm. It can also operate a three-section boom with a choice of dipper lengths, giving it up to 8 metres of greater reach than rival machines.
This advantage has been exploited by operators who have found the machine is ideal for farm work such hedge and embankment mowing, and ditch and dyke clearing. It means that workers can cut hedges and clean ditches with just one machine, instead of using a tractor and hedgecutter, and a mini-digger or excavator.
The vehicle also has a set of pinchers on the back, allowing it to move small trees or fallen branches. The rotating and angling abilities of the machine are described as the most valuable functions, however. They enable the accurate profiling of ditches and the application of camber to farm tracks.
When it comes to hedge cutting and mowing embankments, the rotator allows for working in a back-and-forth movement. This saves a lot of time, and reduces the erosion of the ground as there is less need to move the vehicle. In fact, the range of movement of the head and boom mean that a hedge can be cut on both sides from a stationary vehicle.
The nimble machine can easily be manoeuvred in narrow lanes and farm tracks, thanks to the three-section boom and minimal tail swing.
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