Higher outputs, reduced running costs and a cleaner cut are claimed for a new rotary hedgecutter from Mzuri. Yes, that’s ‘Mzuri’, the Worcs-based strip-till drill manufacturer. So, why would a drill maker suddenly head down the hedger route? Well, that’s largely down to the company’s owner, Martin Lole, who, prior to setting up Mzuri, was the owner and driving force behind hedgecutter manufacturer Spearhead Machinery. Hedgecutting is clearly in Mr Lole’s blood. “Though many people will see this is as a strange move for a drill firm, I got to thinking about the advantages of a rotary blade over a flail,” he explains. “At the same time I came up with a simple idea to make the head self-levelling, and ultimately decided that the chance to design something a bit different was too good an opportunity to pass up.” The result is the Razorback Auto-Level 550, a self-levelling vertical-axis rotary hedgecutter with a 5.5m reach. Key features are the hydraulically controlled front hood and rear roller for better material retention within the machine; three cutting rotors with just the three blades to sharpen; and the so-called Co-Pilot system that, in simple terms, comprises a little gyroscope and an extra ram, which together keep the main frame and head level even when the hedger tractor’s rear wheel drops into a hollow. Importantly, the standard rotary head measures 1.5m wide but without weighing any more than a conventional 1.2m flail. That extra cutting width means fewer passes along the hedge. The rotary design is also said to have a lower power requirement while still being capable of tackling two- to three-year growth. Price of the Razorback Auto-Level 550, complete with electronic proportional controls, is £28,480. For now there is just the one model available, but others may follow.