Engcon FAQs

Why should I choose engcon in particular as a partner?

engcon is the only supplier who offers and manufactures a complete range of tiltrotators, control systems and tools for excavators in the 1.5–32 tonne range. This guarantees the best compatibility and function. engcon also takes full responsibility for the safety of all of its products and does not need to refer to external manufacturers or suppliers in the event support is needed.

engcon has a well-established network of dealers and service partners in many countries around the world. In new markets we take care of all matters using our own personnel.

engcon was founded in 1990 and our tiltrotator experience dates back to 1985, thus we have great expertise within the field.

engcon is a stable partner that has enjoyed great recognition and received many different enterprise awards over the years.

In other words, if you choose engcon you choose a safe, total supplier of equipment to make your excavator and operation more profitable.

Why is the Q-Safe one of the world’s safest quick hitch locks?

Q-Safe cannot be opened with the tool off the ground. The bucket must be in contact with the ground in order to disconnect* it. In other words, it's impossible to drop the bucket through unintentional opening of the quick coupler lock.

Furthermore, Q-Safe enjoys threefold safety through:

Monitoring functions with audio and visual alerts to warn the operator if the bucket is not correctly connected.
Powerful springs and hose burst valves in the locking cylinders maintain the lock function in the event of a ruptured hose. This unique design feature makes it impossible for the bucket to dislodge, even if the locking cylinder or other hydraulics should fail.
Preventing full excavator use, unless the bucket or tool is properly connected, by activating slew limitation* or boom lift limitation*.

* Accessories

Which control system should I use?

engcon's Microprop DC2 is optimised for use with a tiltrotator. It allows all functions to be used independently as well as the individual calibration of specific attachments for up to four users. Where an excavator already has proportional controls and dual-acting hydraulic lines then these may be used as an alternative, as long as there is a discrete hydraulic service for each tiltrotator function - in other words you would require three circuits (or 6 hoses) for a standard tiltrotator - tilt, rotate and tiltrotator quickhitch. Many excavators are now 'tiltrotator-ready', which means that they may have these three circuits, in which case you can specify Control System SS0 - but remember that you may not be able to adjust the proportional controls (assuming they are installed). If you require extra functions - for example an integral gripper, or hydraulic attachments such as a compactor - then you should consider the cost of adding extra circuits to the end of the dipper against the benefits of choosing either Control System SS9, which allows you to switch between the tilt and extra functions using just two circuits, or the fully proportional SS10 and DC2 systems (DC2 uses Microprop joysticks, SS10 can be used with third-party joysticks).

Where do I buy my engcon from and who do I get to fit it?

engcon tiltrotators are generally purchased through excavator dealers at the same time as a new excavator is supplied, usually as a part of the same finance package. Depending upon the competence of the dealer, the excavator specification and the engcon control system specified, the installation of the engcon could be carried out by the dealer although many end users prefer to use one of the engcon Service Partners who specialise in this. engcon Service Partners are fully trained to install both SS9 and DC2 systems and are also able to handle warranty issues. If you are purchasing an engcon for an existing machine, you can do so through one of our Service Partners or specialist attachment dealerships.

Where can I find engcon’s dealers?

engcon has an extensive network of dealers throughout Europe and in certain parts of Australia, New Zealand and North America. You'll find them under contacts on our website.

What will EC-Oil do for my excavator?

EC-Oil saves time and fuel by allowing the right tool for the job to be selected and connected safely and smoothly. The operator does not have to leave the cab to change tools or disconnect the tiltrotator, as EC-Oil is used together with engcon's Q-Safe quick hitch.

What should I consider when deciding my excavator specification?

Despite the increasing popularity of tiltrotators, many excavator manufacturers do not yet sell 'tiltrotator-ready' machines on certain markets. There are two main considerations when buying a new excavator for use with a tiltrotator - dipper length and hydraulics. Ideally, a shorter dipper should be chosen to take into account the build height of the tiltrotator. For example, if the standard dipper length is 2500mm, choose one 2000mm long so that the extra reach resulting from the addition of the tiltrotator still falls within the manufacturer's safe working range and that there is no chance of the bucket or other attachment hitting the cab when fully crowded.

The standard machine hydraulics can often be used for tiltrotator operation, but the machine controls may not be sufficiently sophisticated to fully exploit the capabilities of the attachment. Tiltrotators are usually supplied with so-called fully proportional control systems. These allow the hydraulic power to be gradually increased according to the needs of the attachment and the task to be completed, for example when pouring type 1 or concrete into a narrow area or using grabs or pallet forks. Non-proportional, or on/off systems which are generally button-operated do not allow the delicacy of control necessary for many tiltrotator operations.

If the excavator has two dual-acting proportionally controlled hydraulic circuits, then basic tiltrotator operation should be possible using the excavator's controls. A third, non-proportional circuit will be required for the tiltrotator hitch. Where a single, dual acting circuit is fitted, it is often more cost-effective to use engcon's DC2 control system which manages the hydraulic switching and flow proportionally within the tiltrotator, rather than have additional circuits fitted.

What makes Q-Safe different from other quick couplers?

The requirement for the bucket to have ground contact is a unique function. Furthermore, either the slew or boom lift function is blocked if the bucket is not correctly connected.

Q-Safe is factory-fitted for EC-Oil – engcon’s solution for connecting hydraulic tools automatically from the operator’s position.

The standard Q-Safe quick hitch is delivered with a warning system that alerts the operator if the bucket or tool is not in full contact with the quick hitch. For further safety, there is an optional ground pressure function. QSC – Q-Safe Control – is also available to enable safe control of the excavator's and tiltrotator's quick hitch through a single control panel.

What kind of work is a tiltrotator best suited for?

A tiltrotator will make an excavator more efficient in most areas of application. A tiltrotator provides an excavator with entirely new flexibility and gives the operator the ability to perform operations without a constant need to move the machine. This means a smaller work area need be roped off and work proceeds more quickly. A tiltrotator means more types of operation can be performed by a single machine. Examples:

  • Forklift frames for unloading goods from trucks or other vehicles
  • Pipe-laying grapples
  • Cable bucket for narrow gauge ditching
  • Grading bucket for surface levelling
  • Grading beam to finish levelling jobs
  • Sweeper

All of these reduce the need for extra machines or labour and thus increase profitability

What is ePS?

ePS stands for engcon Positioning System and is engcon's solution for connecting the excavator guidance system (e.g. Leica, Topcon, Trimble, etc.) to our tiltrotators. The customer selects the excavator guidance system that suits him best (including tilt sensor). Engcon will then adapt the tiltrotator selected (EC209-EC226 & EC30) to a rotation sensor, the cab harness and a cab module. The cab module is then docked to the selected machine control system (always check with your excavator guidance system supplier to ensure compatibility with ePS).

A single excavator guidance system makes it easy for the operator to excavate correctly and with ease. It's more efficient and saves time and materials.

What is a tiltrotator?

A tiltrotator is connected between the excavator's arm and the bucket and can be compared to a wrist that allows the operator to tilt (up to 45 degrees) and rotate the bucket or other tool infinitely in both directions. If you need extra help, you can select the grapple accessory that provides the tiltrotator with extra functions in the form of material handling. The hydraulic quick hitch beneath the tiltrotator allows you to connect any bucket or tool from the operator's position.

What is Q-Safe?

Q-Safe is the umbrella term for engcon's safe quick hitch and associated products.

What is MIG2?

MIG2 is engcon's joystick for infinitely variable tiltrotator control. It has up to three rollers for stepless tiltrotator operation and up to seven buttons for connection to other functions. It's also possible to select an FNR rocker switch to control track and comfort steering.

What is Generation II?

It's engcon's second-generation tiltrotator. The first generation was developed in the beginning of 1990 and continued (in part) right up to 2015. In 2008, the EC226 was launched – the first Generation II model (suitable for excavators up to 26 tonnes). At the time, EC 226 had trailblazing technology with lubrication ducts cast into the body to allow central lubrication without bundles of hoses that had to be led everywhere, and its bearing surfaces were increased. A cast body; stronger, sealed tilt cylinder brackets, hardened tilt cylinders prepared for load holding valves; robust hose protection to prevent chafing; factory-fitted for engcon's Q-Safe quick hitch with electrical swivel, 45 degree tilt angles and preparation for a rotation sensor for the machine control system, were just some of the innovative functions presented back then which remain current today.

As of 2016, the Generation II family is complete with models such as the EC204, EC206, EC209, EC214, EC219, EC226 and EC233

What is EC-Oil?

EC-Oil is an accessory that consists of a hydraulic manifold with hydraulics, electrical and central lubrication connections. Because EC-Oil is installed on the Q-Safe quick hitch, the combination provides fully automatic connection of hydraulic tools such as a tiltrotator, grapple, sweeper, compactor and so forth. This means the operator does not have to leave the cab to connect the tool.

What if I want something non-standard?

Call us to discuss your requirements. A number of our Service Partners have specialised engineering facilities and are able to fabricate parts and tools for specific tasks. Please note that modifications to engcon parts is likely to invalidate our warranties, and the use of third party parts (including control systems) is not supported by engcon or the whole of the Service Partner network.

What does System engcon include?

The heart of System engcon is the tiltrotator. We have added the tools most frequently used used in 90 percent of the jobs normally carried out by an excavator in the weight range between 1.5 and 33 tonnes. In addition to tiltrotators, we provide quick hitches for excavators and a broad range of deep-dig, grading and cable buckets. Stone & sorting grapples, compactors, forklift frames, grading beams, rippers and asphalt cutters are also part of the total package under the System engcon umbrella.

What does EC mean in your product designations?

EC was engcon's first model designation and it means Engström Construction. It stands for engcon's founder, Stig Engström, who founded engcon in 1990.

S-type vs PUP/Universal hitches?

engcon recommend this use of S-type couplers for several reasons: Firstly, S-type couplers are designed for tiltrotators (bracket angles, digging geometry, etc.). With an S-type, or symmetrical coupler, the digging forces are distributed through the coupler frame, regardless of angle and rotation of bucket and not through the locking mechanism as is the case with conventional pin-grab type couplers. Also, unless a separate and continuous hydraulic feed is supplied to the locking mechanism on these couplers, which will in turn cost more to install, the rotational and angular digging forces can cause the bucket to become loose, increasing wear and risk of accidental detachment.

engcon’s Q-Safe S-type coupler incorporates the latest safety standards, which include pin position and engagement detection, safety valves and additional mechanical spring locks to hold close the hitch in the event of hydraulic failure, positive ground pressure required for hitch operation, audible and visual warning during hitch operation, and (optional) boom and slew restriction when the hitch is open. EC-Oil – engcon’s automatic hydraulic coupling system which allows hydraulic attachments to be connected and disconnected from the cab without depressurising the system is only available on Q-Safe.

Furthermore, the build height of a S-type coupler is much lower (around half) and it weighs much less than alternative coupler systems. Because of this, S-type coupler systems cost less than the alternatives.

May I use a breaker underneath a tiltrotator?

engcon strongly suggest that, if a breaker is to be used, the tiltrotator is dismounted. The reasons for this are that the combined weight of a tiltrotator and a breaker may exceed the capabilities of the machine, and that the vibrational effect of the breaker may cause long-term damage to both the precision valves and the circuitry within the tiltrotator. For these reasons, we suggest that a double hitch construction using engcon's EC-Oil and Q-Safe connection system is used. This allows the whole tiltrotator to be demounted and the breaker attachment to be picked up by the hitch, with all mechanical and hydraulic connections made automatically without having to depressurise the system.

Is the DC2 proportional system suitable for all excavators?


Is service available for my engcon product in every country?

Yes. Where there are sales there is service as we ensure basic training for all of our dealers to handle simpler service requirements. Should more complicated issues occur, our sales outlet will seek the help of our own technicians.

engcon also has a service concept known as ASP – authorized Service Partner. We train our ASPs and provide them with the specialist knowledge that may be required in more difficult cases. What's more, all of them always have a good range of spare parts on hand.

Is it difficult to retrofit EC-Oil?

No, the machine owner can do it themselves. Alternatively, it can be done through one of our service partners.

In what way will engcon make my excavator more efficient and flexible?

We know how to maximize an excavator's capacity thanks to our extensive experience. Excavating with a rigid bucket is no longer profitable with today’s high productivity and precision standards.

System engcon provides contractors with total efficiency package that makes work safer and more profitable. Using a tiltrotator as the central function together with a comprehensive pallet of tools adapted to optimize your work, your excavator becomes a flexible, profitable partner.

In addition to remote support, what else can I do with my smart phone connected to DC2?

Among other things, you can use it to adjust tilt and rotation speeds.

How does the tiltrotator work?

The tiltrotator is connected directly to the excavator's arm or beneath the excavator's quick hitch. The tiltrotator is then connected to the excavator's hydraulics and electrical system. Depending on the excavator's extra hydraulics, control is adapted to suit different types of control system. The most common connection takes place via a single or double-acting extra outlet on the arm and the tiltrotator is controlled by a proportional control system known as DC2. The actual control unit is located in the cab (cab module) and the tiltrotator's functions are controlled using our MIG2 – joysticks with rollers that allow the operator stepless control of the tilt, rotation and grip functions if a grapple has been selected for the tiltrotator. Signals from the joystick and the control unit are received by solenoid valves on the tiltrotator thus controlling the function selected.

How does the tiltrotator make an excavator safer?

An excavator with a tiltrotator requires less manual labour in and around its work area. When engcon's Q-Safe quick hitch is also used, safety is further enhanced as the risk for dropped tools is minimized. The use of a hydraulic quick hitch also means that there is no need for the operator to get in and out of the cab to change tools, which reduces the risk for trips and falls.

How does the tiltrotator make an excavator more profitable?

Our customers agree that a tiltrotator makes an excavator easier to use, more flexible and up to 50 per cent more efficient while also reducing the number of machine moves to a minimum, thus causing less ground damage. Reducing the number of machine moves also reduces the need to fence off areas; it means less machine wear and lower fuel consumption. Thanks to the inbuilt hydraulic quick hitch, many different tools can be connected to the excavator. What's more, because they can be tilted through 45 degrees and rotated infinitely, the excavator's areas of use increase dramatically.

How does engcon develop its products?

Our R&D department is constantly working with requests and comments from our end-users. They are the natural experts in the field who are constantly searching for new ways to increase profitability. Our products are developed and improved on this basis. The guiding principle for our R&D efforts is improved profitability for our end users.

How does an excavation system work?

With a GPS and a digital guidance system you have setting out details with you all the time without lasers and manual handling. GPS is often used on infrastructure jobs but is becoming all the more usual on small projects such as development and water and sewerage jobs.

GPS provides information about the machine's position to the system while the bucket's position is shown in the excavator guidance system. These values are then matched to the digital drawing and the display shows how the bucket moves in relation to the drawing. At the same time, the display provides clear information about the depth that applies to the excavation.

Measurements can thus be carried out without the need for the operator to leave the cab or wait for manual setting out. The operator is constantly able to see the depth of the cutting line regardless of bucket position. This reduces the need for laser measurement as the excavator guidance system provides the information the operator needs. Changes to settings can easily be made directly from the cab.

How does EC-Oil enhance the excavator’s profitability and efficiency?

EC-Oil allows rapid switching between different hydraulic tools; the time saved is enormous as many tool changes take place in the course of one day.

It also makes it just as easy to connect or disconnect your tiltrotator. In the case of major soil removal jobs, or if space is too confined to work with the tiltrotator, it's possible to disconnect the tiltrotator just as quickly without having to leave the cab.

How do I safely control locking the bucket and/or tiltrotator? Regardless of the type of excavator I have?

You can do this using QSC – Q-Safe Control – which is a smart panel installed on the right in front of the operator in the cab where the lock buttons for the machine's quick coupler and the tiltrotator's quick coupler lock are brought together in a single control unit. This means the operator, regardless of the type of machine he is using, does not have to search for lock buttons. QSC is suitable for all excavators and every make and type of quick hitch. In other words, engcon has standardized the actual control of all quick hitches thus reducing to a minimum the risk of accidents due to incorrect operation.

How do I make a warranty claim for an engcon product?

Make your warranty claim to your dealer; they will handle all claims.

How do I know which tiltrotator suits my excavator best?

engcon has clear weight recommendations for all models and you can easily find the right tiltrotator for your excavator in our product guides on our website. You can also find the product guide here, where you can select your excavator's make and model and let us guide you to the right tiltrotator.

How can I get news and find out about new products from engcon?

As a registered engcon user, you will regularly receive our customer magazine and newsletters via email. If you haven't registered, you can do so here.

Do I need a twinlock hitch?

There are two specific regulations regarding hitches: Firstly, in the event of hydraulic failure such as a hose rupture, the hitch must not allow the bucket or other attachment to be dropped. The second regulation requires that the operator must have read and comply with the hitch manufacturer’s operating regulations at all times. Clearly there is no requirement for twinlock here and the demand for them has been driven by custom and practice on site. A number of companies will modify S-type couplers to twinlock operation but it must be said that this, like any compromise, produces a weaker hitch that is, more likely than not, not CE marked.

engcon’s Q-Safe is marketed as the safest hitch in the world. We make this claim, not only because it satisfies all current regulations, but also because it actively prevents operator mistakes (one of the largest causes of accidents and injuries). Pin sensors ensure that both axles are locked and operate visual and audible alarms when the hitch is open or unsafe; ground pressure sensors ensure that the attachment must be grounded before the hitch can be opened and there is the option to disable excavator boom and slew controls when the hitch is being operated. In short, the hitch operating instructions are hard-wired into the controls so that the operator cannot misuse the system. Furthermore, EC-Oil (engcon’s automatic hydraulic connection system) is available on our Q-Safe system as default.

Can Q-Safe be used on all excavators? Together with other products from other manufacturers (e.g. buckets, tiltrotators etc.)?


Can I use my existing buckets?

The pin geometry on your existing buckets is unlikely to be compatible with the S-type coupler fitted to standard tiltrotators. Choosing a Unisafe/PUP coupler to allow you to use your existing buckets is likely to be a false economy for the simple reason that tiltrotator (s-type) buckets are designed for tiltrotator digging. Not only is the angle of the bucket optimised for tiltrotator use, but the bucket geometry (shape, size, etc.) is specific for rotational and angled digging and grading. The saving you make by choosing the S-type coupler can be re-invested in top bracket adapters to convert your existing buckets and other attachments.

If you are running hydraulic tools, you can also purchase adapter brackets EC-Oil ready, or pre-fitted with EC-Oil and thus convert your current hydraulic tools with ease for the S-type coupler.

Can I use MIG2 together with any control system other than DC2?

Yes, but it's not certain that it will be possible to operate three rollers simultaneously.

Can I get immediate support if something goes wrong with DC2?

Yes. Call one of our authorized service partners or us at engcon and we'll connect to your DC2 control system via your smartphone (Android). This lets us read off the fault codes stored to see if any circuit is broken and also adjust your control system to ensure optimal function. Download the 'Microprop' app from Google Play and you're all set for remote support.

Can I fit an engcon system myself?

Over the years engcon tiltrotator systems have been installed by individuals who have not been trained by engcon. We specifically do not recommend this because each excavator is different and engcon’s in-house Engineers, our Service Partners and a number of dealers have a vast amount of experience as well as the sometimes specialist tools that are necessary for certain installations. In order to comply with our warranty conditions, each installation must be completed and signed off by a qualified person.

Can EC-Oil be retrofitted?

Yes, all Q-Safe quick hitches manufactured since the beginning of 2015 are factory fitted for EC-Oil.

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