McConnel - best known here in Ireland for its hedgecutters - is to break into new territory with the launch of its first ever self-propelled crop sprayer.

The striking machine will get its first public outing at next week's National Ploughing Championships close to Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

The "low-ground pressure" Agribuggy A280 is designed and built by McConnel's sister company - sprayer specialist Kellands. Kellands is known not only for the Agribuggy, which it has built and sold for some time, but also for machines such as the Multidrive - a multi-purpose load carrier that is often configured as a high-capacity, self-propelled sprayer or fertiliser spreader.

The Agribuggy - in McConnel's livery - will now be available through McConnel’s worldwide dealer network.

McConnel Agribuggy

Engineered in the UK, the Cummins-powered Agribuggy is claimed to offer the "highest power-to-weight ratio and lowest fuel consumption in its class". McConnel says that it can reach places other machines can’t, thanks to its low-ground pressure design and mechanical drive.

This drive system is said to deliver greater torque and grip with less wheel-spin. In fact, says the firm, it can transfer power "up to 25% more efficiently" than a hydrostatic machine.

The so-called ‘Comfort Cab’ comes with tinted glass, an air-suspension KAB seat with lumbar support, a "floating" control console (that moves with the seat) and a 7in colour display.

McConnel Agribuggy

A multi-function joystick is home to controls for the 4-wheel steering modes, cruise control, master sprayer controls and manual override of the automatic transmission. A new cruise control system supposedly improves fuel economy.

McConnel Agribuggy

McConnel claims that average daily fuel consumption is typically around 70L, compared with between 150L and 200L for large hydrostatic machines.

Aluminium booms come as standard; these are available with working widths up to 30m. Tank capacity is 2,700L, with a gel-coated inner lining for easier cleaning.

McConnel Agribuggy

Underbelly clearance is 750mm when fitted with large-diameter row-crop wheels. McConnel also says that the machine has a 50/50 weight distribution.

It can zip along on the road at speeds of up to 50kph.

McConnel Agribuggy

Kverneland Ireland is the McConnel distributor in Ireland. The company's John Mulhall told AgriLand: "The Agribuggy is a welcome addition to the McConnel range. McConnel is already well-known here for its hedgecutters and arable machinery; the name is associated with quality. This machine will be no different.

"The first unit has just landed here; it arrived at the site of the National Ploughing Championships today. It will be on display at the event next week on our stand [Block 4 Row 15 Stand 338]."

McConnel Agribuggy