The PA53, as its name suggests, has an impressive reach of 5.3m. It is suitable for mounting on tractors of 65hp and weighing over 3,500kg. A new three-point-linkage A-frame system has been incorporated into the design of the mainframe and under-frame hydraulic “pick-up points”. Along with the lower positioning of the gearbox, this gives better ground clearance and allows closer attachment to the tractor for improved weight distribution.
There is an option for the unit to be five-point-bracket-mounted for total rigidity. A cushioned top link allows dual movement to absorb shock loads when the unit is being used on uneven ground.
From the back of the unit, the new PA53 has similar styling to the recently launched 5600 and 7700 contractor machines. High-impact metal rear guarding incorporates a 600mm-diameter roundel that is positioned in the upper part of the new split-metal rear cover. The roundel is supplied as standard with the McConnel logo, but it is magnetic and can be easily interchanged with the blue direction arrow required for highway work. The top section of the new cover opens to allow easy access for servicing of the mainframe and hydraulic components. Oil coolers are fitted as standard on all electric proportional machines.
The mainframe itself is strong and is equipped with a high-reach king post and rocker pillar to give the PA53 the kind of superb arm geometry that we would expect from McConnel. Renowned for providing equipment capable of giving a close-cut experience, whether hedgecutting or verge-mowing, the company has ensured this new unit will work in tight spaces.
Fitted to the high-reach rocker pillar are the PA53 reach and dipper arms. These are tapered — reminiscent of the JCB 3CX digger — and are seam welded, so they should be strong. In fact, the PA53 is a picture of strength. It has the sort of engineering that promotes trust.
The cutting head is fitted to the dipper arm. This machine has the option of two flail heads — the medium-duty 1.2m Sliding Supercut series or the heavy-duty Multicut flail head series in 1.2m and 1.5m widths. All are fitted with a high-power motor to supply power directly to the rotor shaft without any loss. Standard features on the flail heads include a rear flap kit, front hood kit and adjustable rear roller.
In addition, the Multicut flail head — the heavier one of the two — benefits from having a wrap-around rotor shaft that can be fitted with McConnel’s F10 “T” flail. Both series of heads are available with a choice of cutting flails.
But what if you do not want a flail head? No problem. The PA53 can be equipped with a rotary cutting head for problem hedges or cases where hedges have been left to grow as part of a stewardship scheme. A cutter bar is also offered for trimming soft hedges or those where a more ornamental finish is required.
McConnel’s Parallel Arm geometry is fitted as standard on this machine. It allows easy flail head control in a horizontal position but, because there are no rams to cause obstruction beneath the reach arm, it also provides generous “over-fence” clearance.
There is a choice of either a semi-independent hydraulic system with a single pump or a totally independent system with twin pumps complete with rotor rotation control from the tractor cab. The latter is fitted with 60hp cast-iron, high-power pumps and motors to provide power for tough conditions.
The PA53 is available with simple progressive cable control — a favourite with farmers looking for easy operation — but is also offered with proportional controls including Electric Switchbox, Mono Lever and the award-winning Digital Armrest. If you are a contractor with a day-long schedule of hedgecutting or verge-mowing, the proportional control will give you that extra bit of luxury to make work more pleasurable.
Perhaps the best feature of this machine is McConnel’s triple-award-winning “hands-free” automatic Easy Drive verge flotation system (EDS). A must-have system for local authorities, contractors and others for whom time means money, the EDS system increases the Power Arm’s work rate by an impressive 100 per cent. This means that when conditions are suitable, you should be able to mow at 19km/h. What’s more, once in operation, the system looks after itself with little operator involvement. That means you can keep your hands on the steering wheel and concentrate on the job ahead.
The PA53 is also available as a specialist front-mount machine for mounting on to the front linkage of tractors and also as a reverse drive for use on reverse-drive tractors.
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