On the serene, undulating grounds of New Hall Vineyard in Essex, Makita’s new cordless 36V LXT backpack pruning shears are making light work of the annual seasonal prune.
Spur pruning is an essential requirement carried out on the estate by a team of professional stewards who are involved in every aspect of the vineyards planting, maintenance and harvesting routines. The process of pruning is essential to the quality of the harvested grapes and at New Hall the routine is assisted with the use of cordless, battery operated pruners throughout January and February each year.
New Hall, a family run business, has been open since the late 60’s and excels in producing award-winning wines. Vintners Andy and Lucy Hares have managed the 150 acre vineyard for the last four years. It is now one of the largest and oldest first established commercial vineyards in the UK and referred to by many as ‘a hidden gem’. New Hall has also taken The Winemaker of the Year Award several times.
The new Makita Twin 18V LXT pruning shear, the DUP361ZN, provides 36V of power and features a 2-stage blade opening adjustment which varies according to the size of the branch. The shear has a maximum cutting capacity of 33mm and a maximum blade opening of 54mm. The blade can be interlocked with the trigger providing smooth blade movement similar to that of a hand pruner. A newly designed slim backpack harness provides comfort, while an arm band and cord holder prevents the connection cord from dangling around the operator’s body and from getting caught on branches.
“Operator safety is of great importance to us and many of our stewards have been with us a very long time,” says Andy Hares. “Our team have a demanding 8-hour day, regardless of weather, so it is essential that the kit they are using is both comfortable and safe while at the same time offering high cutting efficiency.”
Two Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries, housed in the water resistant backpack harness that fits neatly into the small of the back, supply energy to the powerful 36V DC motor drive and work in series. The DUP361ZN shear features an electronic current limiter for overload protection, a motor protection circuit and a twin LED battery fuel gauge clearly positioned on the switch box.