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.