Shelbourne Reynolds is replacing its 700 and 800 series flagship hedge trimmer ranges with the new 7000 and 8000 series models, with two new control systems for the latter.

There are five models in the new 8000 series, heavy-duty machines suiting high-hour operators such as contractors, with the 8060T obtaining a retracted reach of 4.80m and maximum reach of 6.0m, while the comparable figures for the 8070T are 5.5m and 7.0m, and those for the 8080T are 6.2m and 8.0m.

There are also two VFRT models with variable forward reach as well as telescopic capability. The 8065 VFRT has a retracted reach of 5.6m and maximum reach of 6.5m, plus forward reach of up to 2.0m and rearward reach of 1.3m.

An innovative new operating system, aimed at providing a greater degree of control, ease of use and service monitoring, is being launched alongside the new Shelbourne Reynolds 8000 hedge trimmers. The new S-Touch system combines joystick control for the immediate operating functions of the machine with a six-inch touchscreen for altering settings and function responses, monitoring service requirements, and accessing a full operator’s manual. Like the armrest itself, the software for the new operating terminal is a full in-house development, ensuring users have full system support from those who designed it.

While the operating screen is common to both types, the key difference between the two S-Touch versions is in the joystick. The S-Touch Compact – which will be standard on all 8000 models – features a compact joystick operated via the fingertips, while the optional S-Touch Max incorporates a larger multifunction joystick for operators who prefer full hand-held control and greater functionality, with reduced need to operate functions via the touchscreen terminal.

The Compact joystick allows control of the primary lift and reach functions of the trimmer boom. A rotating ring at the base can be used to operate the slew, telescopic or variable forward reach (if fitted) functions, with the choice configurable via the operating screen.

On the other hand, the S-Touch Max joystick features a larger physical design which fits the operator’s hand and allows control of a larger number of functions. The top roller switch controls the head angle, the front roller controls the slew or variable forward reach (if fitted), and the top two buttons control the telescopic boom. Three additional ‘hot key’ buttons give the option of programming three further controls that would normally be operated via the touchscreen, giving the operator maximum joystick control.

The new S-Touch operating terminal allows the operator to set up the trimmer and its joystick controller as desired, as well as operating key functions. A single press of the screen allows switching between hedge or verge operating modes, whilst a settings page allows easy adjustment of parameters such as joystick sensitivity and hydraulic flow rates.

Service functions are also included, with the S-Touch terminal featuring on both Compact and Max operating systems, including full service and support functions. In addition to a service page that provides full details of recorded work hours and service interval schedules, the operator’s manual is fully accessible in PDF format on the screen, eliminating issues with bulky and easily lost and damaged paper copies.

Standard specification for the 8000 series includes a 70hp hydraulic pump and a 1.2m belt drive General Purpose flail head, which replaces the firm’s former HD design. Standard head is the 1.2m GP1200, while there is a 1.5m GP1500 option, both featuring a 120mm rotor with 50mm rotor bearing. For high-capacity single-pass cutting, buyers can alternatively specify 1.2m HC1200 or 1.6m HC1600 heads, with 150mm-diameter rotor and 50mm rotor bearing.

Further arm specification comprises twin accumulator arm float, auto-reset break-back, 102-degree slew and parallel arm geometry. Additional features include LED road lights and 180-degree strobe.

In terms of machine design changes, the most significant are to the new 7000 series, which comprises two models – the 7060T with 6.0m telescopic reach and the 7062VFR with 6.2m outward reach plus variable forward reach. They take many of their design features from the larger 8000/former 800 series models, and are styled similarly – improving access to areas such as the oil cooler and oil filters.

The controller for the new 7000 series is the established Shelbourne Reynolds digital proportional joystick plus LCD screen, and the main functions are fully programmable, and include proportional control of lift, reach and head angling.

Tractor mounting is via a four-point stabiliser kit or five-point axle-mounting arrangement, the latter a new development that uses the tractor link arms, superseding the old arrangement which meant these had to be secured or removed.

The 7000 models use Shelbourne Reynolds’ General Purpose head, which replaces the HD design. Standard is the 24-flail/1.2m GP1200, with a 36-flail/1.5m GP1500 option, both featuring a 120mm rotor with 50mm rotor bearing. For high-capacity single-pass cutting, there are 1.2m HC1200 or 1.6m HC1600 head options, with 150mm-diameter rotor and 50mm rotor bearing.

Further 7000 series features include a self-folding transport cab protector like that on the 8000 series, and improved parking stands. While the superseded 700 series Variable Forward Reach offered only 1.6m forward boom movement, 7000 VFR models now also offer up to 0.9m rearward reach to aid cutting in restricted areas. In addition, both T and VFR models offer 10 degrees more head angling capability and incorporate a less obtrusive head angle ram on the VFR model. Slew has been increased from 90° to 102°, which also reduces transport width.