Engcon was founded in 1990 by an engineering entrepanuer Stig Engstrom in Stromsund, Sweden. It was his ambition to develop the tiltrotator further and to take excavation to another level. The tiltrotator is often described as the equivalent to a wrist on the end of your excavator’s dipper, making the work tool far more flexible and useful than a conventional rigid bucket set up.
From relatively humble beginnings in the early 1990’s, the company has progressed and expanded very significantly over the years, by offering innovative technical solutions, and with the help of an ever growing band of enthusiastic pioneering customers. Since those early days, the company has gained a growing reputation in the Swedish construction industry and today sales are rapidly increasing in the rest of Europe, USA and Australia. As well as the tiltrotators themselves, the company also produce a complete range of compatible attachments that further increase the machines flexibility and can increase profits too.
We were shown some of the latest tiltrotator models being assembled, which include the new 2 series, which offer increased tilt angle of 45 degrees, even stronger and sturdier design based around a cast housing, and which includes the movement of the main rotation drive motor to the left hand side of the unit, this helps with the operators view of this protected component, the new units are also far more service friendly in their design with protected lubrication points, and in-cast lubrication channels.
Other new developments from the company include the new high flow swivel, which allows more flow intensive attachments like flail mowers and rotary screeners to be used on tiltrotators, from the EC15 upwards. Engcon have also introduced the EC-Oil quick hitch with automatic oil and electric couplings to enable fast changing of hydraulic tools, without the need to get out and fix up additional pipework. In addition, they are now offering the new Microprop DC2 proportional control system, which can also be adapted to include track control, wheel control and boom swing if required.
We were treated to see one of the latest 2 series models being tested in the factory’s specialist testing booth here is a short video clip.
Following on from our factory tour, we were taken to see local contractor Jocke Furrer, who as mentioned in part one of this post works closely with Engcon as a demonstration operator. Amongst Jocke’s arsenal of machines is a new Komatsu PC88R which needless to say is equipped with an Engcon tiltrotator and the latest Microprop DC2 proportional control system.
I was invited by Jocke to take to the controls. Jocke briefly explained that the original tracking levers were now defunct and that I was to control the travel by using the new joysticks. By using the top two roller thumb controls, the operator can steer and manoeuvre the machine without having to let go of the joysticks and without the need to use your feet either. I have to say this made moving the machine around even easier with absolutely no need to remove ones hands from the joysticks.
I tracked the machine to a spoil heap in Jocke’s yard area and then came a bit of a shock! Jocke has his roller thumb controls in reverse, when compared to what has been fitted on the demo unit on MJL Contractor’s machine back in the UK as seen in the photo below. It was really difficult to get my head around the machine being plumbed up that way, Jocke kindly offered to get his computer out and change the system around to the ways ours is fitted but with time moving on, I politely declined the offer.
It was now time for our journey back down to Ostersund to catch our internal flight back to Stockholm, in preparation for the following days visit to MaskinExpo 2012.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole team at Engcon for the wonderful hospitality we were shown during our flying visit to Sweden, special thanks must go to Nils Giesen who was our host and guide on the first day, a man of much technical knowledge and even more impressively a multi linguist, Tim Wood from Engcon UK, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, not just on our behalf but for the other UK visitors attending the show, and Sten Stromgren, for all his work in organizing our visit in such a busy time during the run up to MaskinExpo. Thank you one and all and I hope to see you all again in Sweden one day!