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A public trial was made yesterday of Hornsby and Son’s new patent hedgecutting and trimming machine. The trial took place on Mr. John Carter’s Grove Farm, Tinwald, and a goed number of farmers, runholders, &c., were present. The machine started work on a thick, matted hedge of gorse—a hedge that had been allowed to grow luxuriantly, and rose to a height of over six feet. The ground was somewhat uneven, and was not perhaps the best suited for the trial, but though the hedge-cutter worked under this disadvantage for showing off its full powers, and the further one of being drawn by horses unused to that kind of work, and driven and worked by men equally new to it, the machine gave every satisfaction. It cut away the thick upper growth evgnjy and steadily, and was perfectly under control, Mr, S outburst,

the agent, worked the machine himself for a short time, and then Mr. Carter’s manager mounted the steering seat. Though the latter gentleman had seen the machine only that day for the first time, and had never tried anything of the kind before, he had no difficulty whatever in working it, and was able to trim both top and sides of the hedge with as great facility and regularity as Mr. Smithurst himself. After the thick upper growth had been cut, the machine was put to do the side trimming, still cutting from the same side of the hedge, and the result was

perfectly successful. After being driven along the hedge to cut the side nearest to it, and doing that well, the machine was brought back to where it started from, the bar which carries tho knives being adjusted to reach right over the hedge and cut the opposite site. The machine is calculated to cut and trim from four to five miles of hedge per day, and ought to be a useful introduction to this district, and a great labor saver. It will work to most advantage, we should think, on a hedge of ordinary but compact growth, and one of its great recommendations is its strength. On several occasions it came with a heavy shock against the stakes that stand at intervals in Mr. Carter’s hedge, and though it could slice through a gorse stem an inch thick, those wire strung stakes were too heavy bites for it. However, nothing gave way,, but instead of a breakage the horses were brought up all standing. In cutting hedges, of course afgateway will be occasionally encountered, and the horses may not be pulled up in time to prevent the knives from catching the gate-posts. If they do catch tho posts they will stick there, and the horses will have to stop perforce, but nothing will break in the machine. This feature is certainly an advantage, and we would be glad to see it a universal one amongst reapers and binders. The machine shewn yesterday was very popular amongst the practical men who witnessed the trial, and we have no doubt it will come into extensive use in the district. Labor is cheap at present, and gorse-cutting can be done at sixpence a chain, and perhaps less ; but we have no idea that low prices like these are going to rule always, and the gorsc-outter is bound to make its way. It will not, however, be found on every farm as tho reaper and binder now is ; but it offers, we think, an inducement for an enterprising contractor to invest in and travel round the district. We understand the machine costa between L6O and L7O, and is of the substantial character of all English made machines. As to a description of the hedge-cutter, we find one ready made in the firm’s circular, and we cannot improve, upon it :

“The machine is mounted on tw’o road wheels of large diameter, to secure light draught. Both wheels are employed in driving the working parts, the motion being communicated by an arrangement of gearing to one of a pair of knives, similar to the knives of mowers and reapers, but larger, and of greater strength. These knives are carried by a sliding bar projected from the side of the machine. This bar with the cutting apparatus is so arranged, as to be capable of ready adjustment to suit different circumstances, the entire machine when set for work, being under complete control of the man in charge, who rides upon a seat conveniently placed for making all necessary adjustments. The cutting apparatus can be raised to any required height to suit high or low hedges, or the level of the ground on which the machine may be travelling. It can also be set ct any required angle, to cut more or less off the hedge, and to reduce its height or alter its shape as may be desired. Both sides of the hedge may be cut from the same side, so that the machine maybe kept on that side which is most convenient. The side cf the hedge nearest to the machine is usually cut first, and then the bar lifted over the hedge and the angle of inclination reversed, so as to cut the other si -le. The top may afterwards be trimmed if required (though this is not usually necessary), by setting the cutting bar straight out jfrom the machine, at the height the hedge is required to be left. The cutting bar being constructed on the same principle as the Paragon mower, swinging round the crank spindle, will work equally well on either side or at the top, and at any angle of inclination. Tire hedge when cut is /\ shaped, of any required width at bottom, and of any height, and it is believed this shape is the most generally preferred. The machine is worked by two horses, and requires only a youth to drive and one man to manage and control the cuttirg, and the work accomplished is about five miles of hedge, cut on both sides and at the top, per day. Where trees, railings, or other obstruction are found in hedges, the cutting apparatus can be instantly withdrawn and put into w’ork again, when tire obstruction is passed. The machine is substantially constructed, so that hedges of two or three years’ growth may be cut without fear of breakage, but where they are regularly cut, they will be gone over once or twice each year,”

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Bibliographic details

THE HORNSBY HEDGE CUTTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 145, 28 August 1880

Word Count

THE HORNSBY HEDGE CUTTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 145, 28 August 1880